Summertime is time to talk about safety. With the kids not in school and the whole family venturing out of the house, staying safe this time of year has some unique challenges. Here are some tips to keep the season a happy one:
- Insects are more than an annoyance; they can carry disease. Mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus, and fleas bites can lead to plague. That’s why insect repellant is so important.
- Check for ticks and shower after walking in the woods to avoid Lyme disease.
- It’s easy to forget after a long cold winter, but heat can be dangerous. Heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps can all come on quickly. Spend some time in the shade.
- Outdoor sandboxes can attract wild or feral animals; they won’t stick around, but they’ll leave mementos that kids probably shouldn’t be playing with, or in. Cover sandboxes that aren’t being played in.
- At the pool, keep glass bottles and other dangerous, breakable items, as well as electronic devices such as music players, a safe distance from the water.
- Apply sunscreen about half an hour before going outside, reapply after getting wet, even when the day’s plans don’t include sunbathing or lounging.
- Be aware that even cooked food can cause bacterial infection when left out in the heat. Highly perishable foods such as eggs and dairy should not be left out more than an hour.
- Filter water from streams or creeks before drinking it. Parasites aren’t generally visible, but they can still do a lot of harm.
- However, don’t skip drinking water entirely. Still water without sugar is best, though it’s important to replenish electrolytes after sports or other strenuous activity. Alcohol may seem refreshing but it can make dehydration worse in the long run.
- Check playground equipment before kids play on it—unpadded surfaces, loose ropes, unsecured bars or other parts, even hot metal, plastic, or wood can all be dangerous.
These tips can help keep summer safe, fun, and healthy.