Here are five summer safety tips, courtesy of OC Home and Family!
Playgrounds can be a lot of fun, but they can also be a source of hidden dangers. Check the playground before letting your child play for broken equipment or other potential pitfalls. Make sure to watch your kids as they play to ensure that they’re not using the play equipment in a way that might put them in danger. Be aware of other kids as well. Not every kid is a nice kid, and your child may not tell you if they’re being bullied.
4. Bees and Bugs
Bees and other insects are an essential and amazing part of our natural environment, however they can also have poisonous stings and bites. Bugs can be attracted to scents and colors. Try to avoid light colored clothing and scented lotions and soaps. Bees also tend to collect near water sources and garbage. Fix any leaking or dripping pipes and keep a tight seal on all trashcans.
If someone does get stung, scrape the stinger out with your fingernail or a credit card using a sideways motion to avoid pushing the stinger in further. Wash the wound with soap and water and apply a cold compress.
Watch for signs of allergic reaction to stings. If your child’s lips or tongue begin to swell, or if she complains of tightness of the throat or difficulty breathing, go to the emergency room or call 911 immediately.
3. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Melanoma is a nasty form of skin cancer. Studies have shown that just one blistering sunburn in early childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chance of getting melanoma later in life.
Sunscreen isn’t magic! It takes quite a bit for it to work to it’s SPF rating and it must be reapplied every hour or so. Also, don’t forget your lips, feet, hairline, ears or neck.
Talk to your kids about the dangers of sun overexposure and the importance of healthy habits to protect their skin. If they know why they need it, they may even remember it when you don’t.
2. No Swimming Alone
Over one in five drowning victims is a child. 30% of all children ages 1 – 4 that die from unintentional injury die from drowning. Always watch your child while they are swimming and be aware of the signs of drowning.
Drowning doesn’t look like you might imagine. It may look like the individual is just splashing in the water. Usually the child can’t call for help because he or she is struggling to get a breath. If you seen a child splashing, make sure you can see that their mouth is above water. Children have drowned only feet from their parents, because their parents didn’t even know what was happening.
If you have a home swimming pool, make sure that it is fenced off. It can also be very beneficial to teach your child to swim.
1. Have an Action Plan & First-Aid Ready
No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. Having an emergency plan and a first-aid kit that you know how to use can help ensure that you’re ready when something goes wrong.
Your first aid-kit should include:
- Absorbent compresses
- Anti-biotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes
- Breathing barrier
- Instant cold compress
- Nonlatex gloves
- Hydrocortisone ointment packs
- Roller Bandages
- Sterile Gauze Pads
The Red Cross offers CPR and other first-aid classes that can help give you the confidence you need in an emergency. Contact your local chapter to enroll in a class.