Ah! It’s finally the time of year when the snow has melted, the cold weather has headed out of town, and Ole’ Man Winter is nowhere to be seen. Snow blowers are replaced with lawnmowers; shovels replaced with grills; snowsuits are traded in for swimsuits. While the fear of slipping and falling on ice is out of everyone’s mind, a new concern pops up – family summer safety. Most of us think of summer and heat safety as slapping on some sunscreen and bringing a water bottle. However, if you want to enjoy the whole summer safely as a family, it’s important to think about more than obvious when it comes to the heat.
The emergency room sees more visits for child injuries more in the summer during any other time. Children are more involved in sports and outdoor physical activities than at any other time during the year. Pick-up games and team sports take up most of the time for kids while vacationing activities and swimming pick up during the down times of summer. You should be stuck inside all summer long to avoid the fear of injury to yourself or your kids. Here are some rules you should keep in mind when it comes to keeping your family and kids safe but active during the summer months.
1. For Family Summer Safety, Keep It Cool
Just like in the wintertime, it’s really important to dress appropriately when you’re planning on playing or heading outdoors. Heat exhaustion is one of the most common reasons for an ER visit in both adults and children. It’s not only a health concern, but it can also lead to other injuries. Fatigue can lead to accidents and injuries the result in sprains and strains. Heat stroke can even lead to unconsciousness and fainting, which can result in a concussion.
There are many ways to prevent heat stroke and exhaustion, and wearing appropriate clothing is one way. Wearing light and breathable clothing that is loose-fitting is the best way for your body to regulate its temperature and avoid overheating. Loose-fitting clothing isn’t restricting, which means you can move easier and more efficiently, helping to prevent injuries.
2. Drink Up!
This seems like an obvious one but it’s so important that it needs repeating. Staying hydrated is an essential preventative measure of heat exhaustion and injury. In the midst of fun summer activities, it’s understandable to forget to drink up. However, dehydration results in not only health problems but also injuries. it contributes to early fatigue and muscle weakness, spelling disaster for anyone enjoying their outdoor activities. You should drink approximately 9-13 cups of water as an adult. For kids, depending on age, the amount recommended can vary from four cups to eight cups of water a day.
3. Head Out At The Right Time
When it comes to summer, you and your kids don’t want to be stuck indoors all day long. It’s important to soak up as much sun as possible and take the opportunity to be outdoors. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the weather report and the temperature. Usually, the hottest part of the day is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. If the weather report is calling for a high heat index during that part of the day, it’s best to plan your outdoor activities around that time. Heading out in the morning or in the early evening to play, exercise, and spend time outdoors will help keep you and your kids safe.
4. Take Advantage Of Lawn Work (And The Kids!)
Once the snow melts, snow blowers and shovels are hauled away to be replaced by the lawn mowers and rakes. It’s the perfect time to take advantage of all the lawn work that needs to be done in the early summer and maintained throughout the warm months. It’s even more beneficial for you and your kids as it gets the family outdoors and exercising. Remember though that lawn work, like all chores, may be routine. However, that doesn’t mean you can just begin raking and hauling off tree branches without properly warming up.
Although it’s a chore and a routine, it’s still manual and physical labor that requires your body to use muscles. This means it’s important to still warm up and cool down as if you were working out. Both you and the kids should do a quick warm-up (jumping around, marching, and stretching) before cranking up the lawn mower.