Submitted Date 06/24/2019

The summer is full of sun and fun. But it can also bring some season specific dangers. So take these three safety tips into consideration to keep the fun coming all summer long.

1. Water
Drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children age 1-4 in the US, and the leading cause in California, Arizona and Florida. Approximately 350,000 people drown annually worldwide. 3,500 people lose their lives to drowning each year in the US, and children under 5 account for 350 of those deaths. Not to mention the 2500 non-fatal submersion related injuries which can include permanent brain damage.

Submersion incidence and drownings are not like in the movies. They're typically silent and can happen in seconds. Floating toys can also pose risks to kids as they can get stuck inside floating tubes upside down. Infant, child and adult swimming lessons are incredibly important for every family.

Pools also pose a threat to pets, as thousands of pets drown in family pools each year as well. If you have children or animals seriously consider installing a pool or fence as a protective barrier. Also keep your eye on all kids an animals anywhere in the vicinity of a pool. It only takes a second to take your eye off of a child while they slip under water. Even if you don't have a pool, any body of water can take your child's or furbaby's life.

2. Sand
The beach may be a summer mainstay, but there still several precautions you should take when enjoying the sun, sand and surf. Believe it or not, improperly placed beach umbrellas can go flying and impale beach-goers in a swift gust of wind. Numerous people are injured and even killed by the pointed end of these protective shade-givers each year. They should be tamped down at least 12 inches to be confidently secured in the sand.

When it comes to the eaves there are many things to look out for at the beach. Always watch children in the water, especially if they cannot swim. All kids who can't swim should have a life vest, and even kids who can swim should wear one in case they are swept further out to sea. Pool arm floaties and large floats and rafts should not be used at the beach. They can quickly strand swimmers beyond the breaks and land them out in calm but far away ocean waters.

Riptides can also quickly carry a child or adult far off the shore and prevent them from swimming straight back. If you're caught in a riptide don't fight it directly or you'll be too tired to swim back to the sand. Either swim to the side until you feel the tide lose its grip then swim back to shore. Or let it drag you out and push you to the side naturally and swim back when you're out of its range.

Also pay attention to advisories on sightings, contacts and attacks by sharks, jellyfish, stingrays and other hazardous marine life.

3. Sun
UV rays are a risk whether it's sunny or not. You can even get sunburned in the winter. So make sure you and your kids where 30+ SPF sunblock any time you go out for more than a few minutes. If you don't reapply after 2 hours or after getting wet, like it recommends on the label, wear 50-100+ SPF to help make up the difference.

The best way to block UV rays is actually to cover up with clothes or parasols or umbrellas for shade. If you're going to be out and about for an extended time, let's say on a vacation, you may want to prepare your skin with a few structured sun exposures, with sunscreen, to develop a base tan. This can help prevent burning, and sunscreen doesn't prevent tanning.

The summer months are a great time to get outside and play. But it's important to take these summer safety precautions seriously so you and the people you care about stay happy and healthy for many summers to come.

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  • Kiersten Felch 1 year, 9 months ago

    Definitely important to remember here in Florida, thanks for the tips!