Summer is here and while temperatures will still fluctuate across the country, we all hope warmer days are here to stay. Neighborhood pools are open, kids are ending their school year, and families are planning vacations. Swimming, boating, and barbeques are the big events of the summer and everyone is ready to enjoy some time off . Prepare for all of your summer plans by remembering a few important safety tips, particularly those that involve water.
Swimming is one of the best things about the summer. Kids of all ages love splashing around in the pool, learning to jump and dive, and playing in sprinklers. Water play is so much fun, yet each year we hear of a family who loses a loved one to an accident in the pool.
Be sure to always have someone on duty when your family is at the pool. Keep in mind a few of these Red Cross recommended safety rules when swimming this summer.
- No one ever swims alone
- Alcohol and swimming don’t mix
- Children should be encouraged to use Coast Guard approved floatation devices if they are tired or unsure of their swimming abilities
- If someone is missing, immediately check the pool, seconds matter
- Take a CPR/First Aid refresher course to be prepared
- If a lifeguard or signage indicates the ocean is not safe to swim in, don’t try it
Finally those chilly winter days are gone. For most of the country, summer brings consistently warm and sunny days. Maybe some rain in the afternoon or a few fun thunderstorms, but for the most part, days and evenings can be spent outside. Making sure your family is protected from the sun is the most important step for the summer.
When purchasing sunblock, make sure it is at least SPF 30, and preferably SPF 45. (SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, SPF45 blocks 98% and after that, it is really just overkill.) Consider the brand of sunblock you are buying and pay particular attention to the ingredients list.
Other recommendations include:
- Use broad-spectrum sunblock – it protects against UVA and UVB
- Apply two coats, to make sure you rub enough in to make the SPF effective
- Double check that faces, particularly noses, are covered
Enjoy each and every moment of family time this summer. Set some strong examples for your children and soak up the memories.