Summer Safety: Protect Kids From Sun & Accidental Injury

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Summer’s finally here, and you know what that means! Time to get outside, soak up those rays and enjoy yourself. But with all that fun in the sun comes the need to protect yourself and your family from potential summertime dangers. Here’s what you need to know to keep everyone safe and smiling all the way until Labor Day:

  • Up your SPF IQ. What number is best for sun protection? Use lotion containing a sun protection factor (SPF) of no less than 30. Lower numbers may seem tempting, but they won’t get the job done. Also, apply sunblock to yourself and your kids 20 to 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow enough time for it to soak into your skin. Then…
  • Reapply! You should be putting a fresh layer of sunscreen (at least 1 ounce, or about a shot glass full) on yourself and your kids every two hours and immediately after the wearer has been in the water, toweled off or sweated a great deal. Sure, that SPF bottle may say “waterproof,” but that’s a myth. Sunscreens can only be “water resistant,” and even then that lasts only about an hour.
  • Swim safety is key. Not only should all children learn how to swim and take lessons beginning at age 4, but you should also get familiar with the place where your kids will be taking a dip. What is the ratio of children to parental (or lifeguard) supervision? Is it a crowded, loud beach or pool where a child could slip below the surface and go unnoticed? A person who’s drowning can be quieter than people realize, so make sure time in the water is properly supervised.
  • Life jackets are a must. Lake time and boat time are summer favorites, but every person should have his or her own life jacket. It’s equally important that those life jackets fit properly. Ask an employee where you buy them, a boat owner or a lifeguard if it fits properly, and always have life jackets on hand.
  • Walk it off. Crossing streets safely may seem like a no brainer, but kids are more likely to venture out with friends or by themselves in the summer months. Walk with them to identify tricky traffic spots and areas where they have to be more careful. Looking both ways – and not being distracted on devices – will help them get to their destination incident-free.
  • Wear your info. Identification bands for children are a good way to provide vital information if they become injured or lost. You can even write directly on your child’s backpack or clothing. Having medical information or who to contact in case of emergency in an easy to find place on your child could make all the difference. And speaking of straying from home…
  • Stranger danger. Telling your kids not to speak to people they don’t know is just the tip of the iceberg. Having an actual plan in place should an incident occur could be a lifesaver. Ask your kids what they would do if someone approached them or their friends, and give them instructions on how to react and get help.

Ultimately, awareness is the biggest factor in having a safe summer. If you’re at a barbecue, you’re more likely to stay relaxed and think everything’s OK when your kids run off to play. But that’s when problems are more likely to happen. Always know where your kids are going, what kind of environment they’ll be in, who they’ll be with and teach them what do should something go wrong.

A fun, family-oriented and sunburn-free summer is as easy as a little preparation, education and keeping your eyes open!


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Categories: FeelWell