Summer Safety

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Summertime means fun and adventure! Before you dive into your summer vacation, take a minute to consider the safety risks associated with exciting summer activities. As partners in creating healthy and happy environments for children, Minute Menu offers the following reminders for summer safety.

Stay Safe in the Water

As temperatures rise children and adults spend more time in water. When heading to the pool, lake, beach or other water destination, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Have a plan for supervising children swimming or playing in the water. Make sure enough adults are available to supervise the number of children present. Consider using a visual reminder such as lanyards or small flags for adults and children to know who is in charge at any given time.
  • Swim with a buddy. Drowning can oftenlook like swimming or playing in the water, and the person drowning might not make any noise. Each swimmer should have a buddy who is in the water and can watch for signs of distress. Read more here.
  • Never swim in unfamiliar water. Talk with children about the dangers of playing in or near irrigation ditches, overflow drains, or unfamiliar bodies of water, including flood waters. Bodies of water can have varied depths and currents, both of which can be dangerous or deadly.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen. Apply sunscreen and then wait about 30 minutes before going into the water. This gives the skin time to absorb the sunscreen. Remember to reapply after swimming. Read more tips on choosing, applying, and using sunscreen properly here.

Stay Hydrated

Staying safe in the heat means staying hydrated. Dehydration occurs when the body’s fluid levels are too low. This can happen quickly, especially when exercising or playing outdoors in higher temperatures. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of fluids, and choose water over sodas, sports drinks, or other sugary beverages. Water helps you stay hydrated without the added sugar and sodium in other beverages. Learn more about the benefits of drinking water here. Visit this page to learn more about dehydration in children.

Know the Signs of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a very serious and life threatening condition, and knowing the signs can save a life. Someone suffering heat stroke might appear flushed, out of breath, confused or irritated, begin vomiting or get a sudden headache, and might not be sweating even though they are in the heat. If you suspect a child or adult is suffering heat stroke, contact 911 immediately, get them into a shaded area, and begin cooling them down using fans, ice packs, or cool water. Learn more about heat stroke here.

Protect Skin to Reduce Bug Bites

Summer is a great time for exploring nature. Exploring new areas means encountering new insects and critters, many of which are harmless. Using insect repellent, tucking pants legs into socks, and wearing closed shoes are effective and easy ways to reduce bug bites. Try not to scratch bug bites if you get them, and use topical creams or gels to relieve irritation. If you discover a tick on a child or adult, remember the tick has most likely burrowed into the skin and you will need medical assistance to remove it. Learn more about preventing and treating insect bites here.

All of us at Minute Menu hope you enjoy a fun and safe summer!

Have a summer activity you really enjoy? Share it with us in the comments section below.
References:

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning by Mario Vittone; Herald Tribune Online; 2013.

Sunscreen: How to Select, Apply, and Use It Correctly; Centers for Disease Control report; 2002.

Drink Water Instead of Soda or Juice; http://www.chalkcenter.org .

Dehydration; KidsHealth.org .

Heatstroke; MayoClinic.org

Avoid Bug Bites; Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Additional Resources:
Flood Safety; National Weather Service

Water Safety; TeensHealth; KidsHealth.org

Heat Stroke: Symptoms and Treatment; WebMD.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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