Safe summer equals a fun summer

Published 10:04 am Friday, June 2, 2017

Summer may officially still be a few weeks away, but school is out and children are ready for their vacation to begin.

This means parents, grandparents and other family members must be very vigilant when it comes to safety to ensure that summer fun stays that way.

Here are some helpful tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

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Master water safety

Water-related activities are popular for getting physical activity and have many health benefits. Here are some tips to stay safe while having fun.

Drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.

— Always supervise children when in or around water. A responsible adult should constantly watch young children.

— Teach kids to swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning.

— Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Your CPR skills could save someone’s life.

— Install a four-sided fence around home pools.

— Wear a properly fitted life jacket every time you and your loved ones are on the water.

Beat the heat and sun

Heat-related illness happens when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at the greatest risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. For heat-related illness, the best defense is prevention. Just a few serious sunburns can increase you and your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors.

— Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.

— Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

— Schedule outdoor activities carefully, for morning and evening hours.

— Stay cool with cool showers or baths.

— Seek medical care immediately if your child has symptoms of heat-related illness.

— Cover up. Clothing that covers your and your child’s skin helps protect against UV rays.

— Use sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 and UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) protection every time you and your child go outside.

Keep bugs from bugging you

Protect yourself and your family by preventing bites and diseases, like Zika, West Nile virus and Lyme disease, which can be transmitted by insects.

— Use an effective insect repellent while playing outdoors.

— Make your back yard a tick-safe zone.

— Check yourself and your children for ticks. Ticks are easy to remove.

Prevent Injuries

Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. Falls at home and on the playground are a common cause of injury.

— Check to make sure that the surfaces under playground equipment are safe, soft, and well-maintained.

— Supervise young children at all times around fall hazards, such as stairs and playground equipment.

— Use stair gates, which can help keep a busy, active child from taking a dangerous tumble.

— Learn concussion signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs.

— Make sure kids and teens wear the right protective equipment for their sport or recreation activity.

— Stay smart around the house by following tips on fire prevention, microwave use and living with pets.

These tips can go a long way toward ensuring your family has a safe and fun summer.