The Fourth of July brings the first big travel weekend of the summer, and usually one spent out in the sun and sand. As the season kicks off, we want to share some tips on how to protect yourself and your family. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy your time together and not have to worry about injuries or sickness.
Many of these suggestions come from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Obviously, the summer months usually bring an abundance of sunshine. Keep these things in mind when you head outside to soak up some rays or splash in the water.
- The AAP recommends that babies 6 months and under be kept out of the sun, if possible. Try to keep them covered up with long sleeves, pants and a hat. If you can’t avoid the sun, put a small amount of sunscreen with a 15 SPF on uncovered areas.
- For older children, staying in the shade and limiting sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. is best. However, if your kids do go outside, always make sure they are wearing sunscreen with a 15 SPF or higher
- For anyone heading outside, make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you are sweating or swimming.
- When participating in physical activities outside, children should wear light-colored and lightweight clothing.
- Anyone exercising or working outside should stay hydrated by taking a water break every 20 minutes.
- Heat stroke from getting too hot in a car has killed many young children. They can’t regulate their body temperatures the same way adults can, so make sure to avoid distractions and make sure children are not left too long in a vehicle.
- When thinking about water safety, in general, you should never swim alone. Always have a buddy, just in case something unexpected happens.
- Drowning can happen quietly and in the blink of an eye, so be sure to designate a “water watcher.” This person should be focused on keeping track of the children and adults out in the water.
- If you have a pool, make sure it is fenced off and the only way to enter is through a gate. You might even want to consider an alarm, which would alert you when the gate is opened.
- Avoid inflatable swimming aids, like “floaties,” as they provide a false sense of security. Use a life jacket instead. Make sure life jackets are the proper size for the child. They should not be loose, and all straps should be fastened properly.
No matter where you go, or what you do, safety should be a priority. Of course, enjoying your time together and having fun are important, too!