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Most of us live for summertime – long days, fun trips, and time with your family. The kiddos are out of school and ready to enjoy the sunshine and outdoors just as much as us adults. In the spirit of keeping summer fun for everyone, we’d like to share some summer safety tips for parents.

June is National Safety Month, so now is a great time to go over a few tips to help you prepare for summer so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful weather with your family.

Keep the Sunburn Away

No one likes sunburn, but we all know how easy it is to forget about protecting our skin and ending up with that uncomfortable burning sensation.

Keep in mind that the sun is the strongest between 10 AM and 3 PM. Yes, that’s when you want to be out playing, but remember to put on that sunscreen and find shaded areas to hang out in.

Typically, sunscreen takes 30 minutes after you put it on to protect you fully, and you should reapply it every 2 hours to make sure you’re getting the most protection possible.

If you are bringing the baby out, they need extra sun protection. Babies under 6 months old haven’t developed tough enough skin to wear sunscreen and are especially vulnerable to burns. They should always be kept out of direct sunlight, either safely in the shade, or by wearing a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing.

Once a baby is over 6 months old, they can begin to wear sunscreen, but you should still keep them close to the shade until they’re able to move out of the sun on their own.

For kids and grown-ups, make sure to use sunscreen all over, and pay extra attention to your nose, your eyelids, the tops of your ears, and the corners of your eyes. These areas have some of the thinnest skin on your body, and can burn faster. Don’t forget about protecting your lips with an SPF chapstick, too.

If you do get sunburned, you can use aloe and over-the-counter pain relievers to help keep you comfortable. Always make sure to read the directions to make sure they appropriate for your family. Sunburns also dehydrate you faster, because your body pulls extra water there to help it heal, so make sure to drink extra water if you’re burned. This is one of the most important summer safety tips. 

Heat Exhaustion is Nothing to Mess Around With

We all want to play in the sun and can get caught up in the fun and games. Heat exhaustion is no joke.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, extreme thirst and muscle cramping.

If you feel like you or a family member are showing signs of heat exhaustion, have them get out of the sun, lay down in a cool place with their legs elevated, re-hydrate with fluids, and cool their body down by spraying them with some cool water . If ice packs are available, it’s helpful to use them in the groin and armpit areas to help accelerate the cooling process.

While you’re doing all this, make sure to take their temperature. If they’re at 103 degrees or higher, they need immediate medical attention. If you suspect a heatstroke, call 911 immediately.

Make Water Safety a Priority

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental deaths for children ages 1-14.

Even if a lifeguard is on duty, drowning can occur so quickly and silently that it can happen before anyone notices. Many people expect drowning to be a dramatic event, with yelling and flailing. It’s actually the opposite.

A person that is drowning struggles to keep their mouth out of the water and usually push their arms against the water to try and keep above the water. This will lead to a bit of splashing, but nothing overly dramatic. Warning signs include:

  • The mouth is at water level or bobbing between above and below water level.
  • The head may be tilted back as an act to stay afloat.
  • The eyes may become glassy or even close.

The best way to prevent a child from drowning is having an adult close by and being attentive. If you allow your children to swim, then you better be prepared to stay off your phone and supervise at all times.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental deaths for children ages 1-14.

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No One Wants Itchy Mosquito Bites

Quotacy is based in Minnesota, so the mosquito is basically our state bird. Mosquitoes love stagnant water, and we have a lot of that in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes.

These pesky insects are most active in the early morning hours and the early evening hours. So, unless you plan on staying indoors during those times, you better have some insect repellent handy. There are repellents such as OFF! that contain DEET to help keep the mosquitos away.

Always read the labels on insect repellents to see if they are appropriate for use with your kids. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, bug sprays that contain 10-30 percent DEET are safe for children over the age of 2 months.

Non-DEET insect repellents are extremely popular with those that want to avoid DEET and go for a more natural product. Look for products with 20 percent picaridin or 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus like REPEL’s plant based lemon eucalyptus product.

If you’re looking for another line of defense, use citronella torches or candles. Mosquitoes are naturally repelled by the smell of citronella oil, so these candles and plants can help you fend them off.

Stay Hydrated

First things first, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. Whether you are lounging in the backyard or playing a game of softball, remember to stay hydrated. The heat makes you sweat, which is great because it cools you down, but it also means you are constantly losing fluids.

Sweating means that your body has enough water stored to keep you cool. If you notice that someone stops sweating, that’s a sign that their water reserves have run dry, and they need to get out of the sun and re-hydrate immediately.

Encourage your family to sip on water throughout the day to keep your body cool and hydrated. Remember, caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate you even more, so if you are indulging in one or the other, make sure to drink a bottle of water in between your beverages.

Practice Safe Biking

Just wear the helmet.

With nearly 300,000 kids visiting the emergency room every year with injuries related to bike riding, it’s important to protect yourself and your family with bike helmets.

It all starts with the parents. If you’re going on a family bike ride, everyone should be wearing a helmet. You buckle up when you drive, right? Well, strap on the helmet when you ride.

Poison Ivy is No Fun

Poison ivy (as well as the lesser-thought-about poison oak and poison sumac) contains oils that cause an allergic reaction when it touches your skin. Well, at least this is the case for 85% of the population. So, the easiest way to protect yourself from this itchy plant is just to avoid it.

Poison ivy and oak both typically have three leaves per stem, so the old rule “leaves of three, let them be” can help you there. Poison sumac, however, can have any number of leaves, so it’s harder to spot.

sketches of poison ivy, oak, and sumac leaves.

Wearing clothing that covers the majority of your skin is helpful and can reduce your risk of running into poison ivy, but that’s also not easy when it’s 85 degrees outside.

On a positive note, poison ivy isn’t contagious. After washing your skin and clothes, the rash can’t spread further.

Symptoms of poison ivy rash are:

  • Itchy skin
  • Redness
  • Hives or bumps
  • Blisters

If you think someone has been exposed to poison ivy, wash the area with soap and water and apply an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. Try to keep from itching the area. If the itchiness becomes overwhelming, try using calamine lotion to help relieve it. If these treatments don’t work, call your doctor for further advice.

Stock Up Your First-Aid Kit

With summer on the way, it’s a great time to make sure you have a fully stocked first-aid kit on hand for any mishaps that may occur. Being prepared is always a good thing. Here are some essentials to keep handy.

  • Band-Aids
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antibacterial gel
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Gauze pads (various sizes)
  • Adhesive tape
  • Benadryl
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe
  • Insect repellent
  • Tweezers
  • Cold packs
  • Infant and children’s Motrin or Tylenol
  • Digital thermometer
  • Names and numbers for your doctor and hospital

Summer is a time to have fun, so don’t let all these safety tips stop you from getting out and enjoying the weather. Of course, you may end up with a couple bumps, scrapes and bug bites, but just be prepared when the time comes. Now, go enjoy the sunshine!

*This post is for general information only for summer safety tips. We are not providing medical advice. You should always consult with your health care provider if you have concerns about any medical condition or treatment plan.

 

Photo credit to: Erik Dungan

 

 

About the writer

Headshot of Jeanna Simonson, Life Insurance Marketing Content and Social Media at Quotacy, Inc. in Minneapolis. Holiday gift ideas.

Jeanna Simonson

Marketing Content and Social Media

Jeanna is a writer and the Ambassador of Buzz at Quotacy. She has been researching and writing educational articles on the importance of life insurance since 2015. When not writing for Quotacy, you can find her scoping out the newest fitness and beauty trends for her own blog, Fiercely Fetching, or traveling and spending time with her husband and fur babies. Connect with her on LinkedIn.