Summer means grilling out in the backyard, going on vacation, and enjoying the warm weather by spending time with your family in the great outdoors. But summer can also bring unexpected injuries and other safety concerns if you don’t spend some time implementing basic safety rules for your family. Here are our top safety tips for summer:
Stay hydrated when it’s warm outside. By the time you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated, so make an effort to drink water all day regardless of whether you’re already thirsty or not. Dehydration can cause dizziness, headaches, and reduced cognitive function, and is especially dangerous for small children and the elderly. Get your kids into the habit of drinking plenty of water when they’re young and it will turn into a lifelong healthy habit. Adding lemon, lime, or orange slices to cold water will make it more appealing without adding unnecessary sugar. Make sure your kids have water bottles and cut up fruit and veggies to snack on when they’re playing outside: fruit and vegetables have high water content and can help you stay extra hydrated.
Avoid sunburn. Excessive sun exposure leads to premature aging and skin cancer in the long run, and can cause painful burns and sunstroke in the short-term. Keep your whole family safe by applying sunblock frequently (once an hour when sweating or swimming), opting for shade whenever possible, and wearing protective hats and clothing.
Make sure your kids know how to swim. Teaching your kids to swim when they’re little is a very important safety tip, as it only takes a few moments for a child to get into trouble in the water and risk drowning if they can’t swim. Most pools and rec centers offer swim lessons that incorporate water safety. If you live or vacation near a lake or other open water, be sure to bring along life jackets for everyone.
Practice bike safety. One of the best things about summer is going for bike rides as a family, but it’s important to teach your children safe bike habits. Both kids and adults should always wear helmets when riding bikes. Falls and accidents can happen in a split second, and it’s not worth the risk of a head injury or worse. Make sure your kids’ bike helmets fit them properly and are not too loose or too tight. You should also encourage your kids to wear bright clothing, sneakers instead of flip flops, and to stick to calm bike paths and sidewalks instead of riding in traffic unless you are with them and willing to teach them the rules of the road.
Don’t advertise your summer vacation plans online. For the adults and teens in your family, make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to social media safety. It may seem harmless to post vacation photos when you’re still on vacation, or status updates about your travel plans, but this is unwise. You never know if someone with bad intentions is reading your posts and noting when your home will be unoccupied and therefore vulnerable to break-ins. If your school-age children have social media profiles, emphasize that they need to be careful in how much information they post online, and avoid “checking in” and other activities that show their whereabouts.
Protect your home when you’re away. Summer vacation is much more relaxing if you know your home is safe and protected by a modern, high quality home security system. Your system should allow you to monitor and control it remotely when you are away. Consider adding cameras to your security package so you always know what is going on at your home, even when you are off on a beach somewhere for summer break.