It's July, and for most of the country, that means we are not remotely done with swimming weather. By this time of the year, the standard social media articles have made the rounds, reminding us all to wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and take breaks from the heat. Some other great tips have surfaced recently, though, so today, we're lising our Top 5 Summer Tips of 2014.
5. Use sunscreen, but be careful. Spray sunscreen is under review. Recent reports indicate what many parents have long known: Kids don't hold still when being slathered in sunscreen. Add some summer breezes into the mix, and it's quite easy to see how a child could accidentally inhale some sunscreen during application. Consumer Reports has removed a spray sunscreen from their Recommended Sunscreens list, and doctors are backing up this cautionary step in news articles around the country. In particular, kids with asthma and allergies are more likely to experience problems from accidentally inhaling sunscreen. The solution: Buy the old-fashioned kind for now. If you have a pantry full of the spray stuff, consider spraying it into your hands, away from your child, and then applying it as you would a lotion.
4. Protect your hearing. This isn't a topic people think about often, but during the summer, we are outdoors more and enjoying a lot more recreation. That means lawn mowers, outdoor concerts, fireworks, and plenty of time listening to ipods and the like. It's important for parents to teach their kids to keep their personal electronics turned down to protect their hearing and to keep them aware of the world around them. If someone has to raise his or her voice to get the wearer's attention, those earbuds are too loud. It's also important that we all use appropriate hearing protection (ear plugs or ear muffs) when exposed to loud noises both indoors and out.
3. Check your gear. Summer is a great time for family bike rides and other sports outings. Did you know that the recommended replacement time for helmets is every three to five years (or, of course, anytime they are cracked)? Before you head out riding those ATVs, horses, bikes, trikes, scooters or any other helmet-requiring activity, check the integrity, fit, and age of your helmets and replace as needed. The same goes for things like life jackets, knee and elbow pads, and other protective gear. It also goes for medical ID jewelry. Give it a once over and ensure that your child is wearing a medical or ICE ID that fits well and has an up-to-date engraving. Spending a lot of time in the water? Make sure to opt for a water-resistant medical alert for every member of the family.
2. Teach fire safety. BBQs and camping can be fodder for incredible summer fun and memories. It's important, however, to realize that 74% of all children's injuries during camping trips are related to campfires. So reviewing fire safety with the kids is always worthwhile. Additionally, be sure to have a fully stocked first aid kit on hand at all times and a good supply of clean water (preferably cold) to treat minor burns.
1. Be water safe. We all know never to leave children unattended in or near water and that it's actually a good idea for adults to adhere to that buddy system as well. But one water safety tip many people don't know about is how to watch for, "dry" or, "secondary" drowning. These are extremely dangerous conditions that can appear after someone has had a close call in the water. Secondary drowning can occur anytime in a 24-hour period after a near-drowning episode, so it's especially important to keep an eye on anyone who has had a problem in the water recently.
How do you stay safe in the summer? What steps does your family take to make safety a top priority without diminishing the fun? We want to hear from you!