11 Tips to Have Your Best Summer Yet
July 21, 2021
Summer is the season of fun! Riding bikes, spending time outside and meeting friends for picnics and barbecues can be a good time if you’re careful. Follow these tips for staying safe while enjoying your summer.
According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, more children under the age of 5 die by drowning there than any other state in the nation. Sadly, many of these deaths can be prevented by following safety precautions. The department recommends:
- Supervision. Always keep an eye on your children while they are swimming. Stay off your phone and do not get involved in a long conversation. Drowning can happen in just a few minutes. Designate a “water watcher” to keep an eye on children and use “touch supervision”—staying within arm’s reach of children while in or near water.
- Barriers. A child should always be accompanied by an adult when near a pool or open body of water. For home pools, Florida law requires barriers, including childproof locks on doors, a pool fence with self-latching gates, alarms and professional pool covers fitted for the pool.
- Swimming Lessons. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 4 and older learn to swim. It also encourages caregivers of children ages 1 to 3 to consider swim instruction for their child. Contact your local YMCA for swimming lessons near you.
- Emergency Preparedness. When a child stops breathing, there is a small window of time when resuscitation may occur. CPR techniques are easy to learn and can mean the difference between life and death. Visit the American Red Cross to find a CPR class near you.
Keep Your Cool in the Heat
It’s important to be aware of the potential risks and take precautions against summer heat. Before participating in any activity, be sure you’re hydrated and have access to adequate water while exercising. Dizziness and lightheadedness are signs to stop, take a rest and drink some water.
Not heeding the warnings of heat exhaustion can lead to possible heat stroke, which is the most serious kind of heat-related illness and is marked by a body temperature of 104 degrees or higher. Signs of heat stroke include mental confusion, skin that’s hot (and damp if the heat stroke is accompanied by physical exertion) and even a loss of consciousness. The first things to do are to move the person to a shaded or air-conditioned spot and call 911. In the meantime, cool the person by fanning, spraying with cool water or by covering them with damp sheets. If the person is able to drink, offer cool water. Avoid anything containing alcohol or caffeine.
Use Sun Sense
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight clothing that covers your legs and arms. Choose light-colored pants, shirts and dresses, since dark colors absorb heat.
- Protect exposed skin by wearing sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15, reapply often, and shade your face and head with a wide-brimmed hat. Sunglasses that block out UVA and UVB rays are also helpful.
- Clothing that has an SPF 50 level of protection is also a good choice.
- Postpone outdoor games and avoid strenuous work during the warmest time of the day — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Take frequent breaks and rely on the buddy system if you’re working outside.
- The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, and UV rays are intensified when reflected off water, cement and sand. The best protection is to stay in the shade whenever possible.
Manatee Memorial Hospital has the largest, newest Emergency Care Center in the county.