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Summer Safety Tips for All Ages

It is important to plan ahead because the weather is unpredictable. Thanks to technology, we can easily access the weather report by looking it up online, via our smartphones, and on the television.  Even if we are traveling out of town, it is easy to look up the weather for the area we are traveling to so that we can dress accordingly. It is also important to know what the weather will be so that we bring essential items such as water and sun screen.

On that note, everyone should use sunscreen when outdoors. Unprotected skin can burn quickly in the sun, which can cause immediate and long-term damage. Sunburn is a common summer injury. Frequent exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer, including melanoma, which can be deadly. Wearing sunscreen is one of the best summer safety tips to ensure you stay healthy now and in the future.

In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that people of all ages use sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen should also be water and sweat resistant and at least SPF 30 or higher.

It is also important to choose the right sunscreen for babies and children. Pediatricians recommend a sunscreen that is a physical or mineral sun blocker. These types of sunscreens use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide rather than chemicals and are less likely to cause a reaction.

Wearing the right clothing is another important safety tip.  The type of clothing you wear will depend on where you are going. If you are going to the beach, consider bringing more than just your swimsuit and towel. Bring a change of clothing and consider wearing something that has UPF protection. This indicates the clothing may provide additional skin protection from the sun. Light-colored and lightweight clothes can also help to reflect the sun, keeping you cool and safe.

Remember to pack your water bottle no matter where you are going. It is important to stay hydrated, especially when participating in outdoor activities. Drink plenty of fluids such as water no matter how active you are. Avoid alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks because they can cause you to lose body fluids.

Be proactive and pack a first aid kit so that you are prepared if an injury should occur. Most stores carry pre-packed first aid kits. You can also make you own first aid kit with soft gauze, tape, and antibiotic ointment for minor cuts and scrapers. Always keep sunscreen for frequent application in the sun. Bug spray to keep mosquitoes and insects away. Aloe vera to sooth sunburn and hydrocortisone cream to ease itching and irritation from bug bites.

Water safety is very important when you are at the pool, the beach, or at a backyard barbeque. Be aware of your surroundings. Especially if you have a child that is not a strong swimmer. Drownings occur in baby pools, fountains, and ponds. Keep toddlers at arm’s length. Enroll your child in swim lessons for extra protection.

Heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke can easily occur when the body is not able to cool itself properly. During times of extreme heat, the body temperature can rise faster than the body can cool it down. Those who are at highest risk for heat exhaustion are older adults, young children, and individuals with chronic disease. Some of the warning signs include dizziness, muscle cramping, weakness, fatigue, confusion, heart palpitations, and nausea. Go indoors to an air-conditioned place and rest, drink water, and blot your skin with cool water if you feel this way. This will help to lower your body temperature.

Lastly, never leave your children or pets in a car unattended. It only takes a few minutes for a car to heat up to lethal levels.

Follow these summer safety tips and enjoy your summer!