Summer is upon us here in Texas! That means family get togethers, food, time in the water, and heat. Lots and lots of heat! Check out these 7 summer safety tips to help you have a safe and fabulous summer.
1. Heat Related Illnesses
The heat can get to anyone. Especially young children. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all things to be watching for as we take more of our activities outside. Always monitor your child for any of the following:
- pale and clammy skin
- heavy sweating
While there are many more signs of a heat illness these are generally some of the first to appear. Heat illnesses can be avoided by encouraging you child to drink liquids, eat fruit, and cool offf frequently.
Fireworks and summer. They just go hand in hand. Children look forward to playing with sparklers and seeing the bright colors in the sky. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
– Never allow children to ignite the fireworks
-Sparklers can stay hot even after burning out. Make sure to fully extinguish by plunging the hot end into a bucket of water.
– Teach children not to wave sparklers near anyone else, or to run while holding them.
Summer time means more time outside. Be it hiking, having a picnic, or just exploring. It also means that poison ivy, oak, and sumac are flourishing. These plants can be identified by:
– Poison Ivy: 3 almond shaped leaves
– Poison Oak: 3 leaves with scalloped, toothed, or lobed edges
– Poison Sumac: oblong/oval leaves
Remember the saying “Leaves of 3 beware of me.” However if you or your child do come in contact with any of these plants calamine lotion can help relieve some of the itchiness. It’s time to see a doctor if you notice any of these problems:
– Temperature over 100
– Pus on the rash
– Soft yellow scabs
– Itching that gets worse or keeps you up at night
– The rash spreads to your eyes, mouth, or genital area
– Your rash doesn’t get better within a few weeks
Be sure to seek emergency medical care if you have any issues breathing, difficulty swallowing, an eyelid swells shut, rash on your face or genitals, or your skin itches everywhere and nothing makes it feel better.
– Ensure that children are never alone
– Walk, don’t run around water
– Don’t dive unless certain of how deep the water is
– Make sure all children are properly supervised
– Always make sure your child wears a life vest on boats, personal water crafts, and in open bodies of water
BBQ’s and picnics are abundant in the summer time. Food is a great way to bring people together. However there are a few things to keep in mind:
– Be careful of cross contamination. Meat and veggies should not be cut on the same cutting board or with the same knife. Be sure when packing a cooler that meat is wrapped tightly and securely so as not to contaminate everything else.
– Be sure to fully cook all food. Chicken and pork are especially dangerous if under cooked.
– Refrigerate any leftover foods promptly. Food that has been left out in the sun can quickly turn bad.
7. Crowded Places
Amusement parks are a great way to spend a day (or weekend). There is so much to do from riding the different rides, playing carnival games, and eating delicious foods. The other thing amusement parks have a lot of? People. Lots of people. Before you head off for some fun make sure you talk to your child about:
– Stranger Danger. Make sure your child knows the difference between a stranger that might hurt them and a stranger that can help them (think police officer, fireman, etc).
– Make sure young children know parents REAL name, not just Mom and Dad. That way if they were to get separated from you, it would be easier for people to help your child find you.
– Talk about what to do if they get lost. Who should they look to for help? Do they know your phone number?
– Speaking of phone number, one thing you can do is write your name and phone number on your child’s arm and cover with liquid bandage. The liquid bandage keep it from coming off due to sweat or water.
Summer is a wonderful time of year. There is lots to do and see. Use these 7 tips to help you have the best summer yet!