The summer season is an exciting time for the whole family – holiday celebrations, family BBQs, weekend trips to the lake, and days at the pool. Follow these safety tips to keep you and your family safe during these summer festivities! Water Safety Swim in areas that are being supervised by a lifeguard. Have a responsible adult supervise in addition to a lifeguard to ensure your child’s safety. Normally, a lifeguard is watching a number of children and could take seconds to see that your child needs help. Ensure the whole family knows how to swim. Sign up for age-appropriate swim lessons when you feel your child is ready. Establish rules for the water and enforce them. For example: no dunking or breath-holding contests. Stay at an arm’s length of young children – they can easily slip or fall into the water. Always use a life jacket! Some flotation devices, such as “floaties,” provide false security to children and parents. Avoid distractions when watching over children swimming. If a water accident occurs, a matter of seconds can make all the difference. Beware of swimmers ear, an infection of the outer ear canal. To treat, apply prescribed antibiotic drops and minimize water time. Fun in the Sun Stay hydrated – it’s important that kids (and you!) drink water often to prevent dehydration. Always wear a helmet! If your children are riding their bikes, scooters, or skateboards, they should always be wearing a helmet. And be sure to set a good example for them. If you’re riding your bike, wear your helmet. Use sunscreen! Select an SPF of 30 or higher to prevent sunburn. Choose a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, also known as “broad-spectrum”. Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of the sun. When going outside, clothe them in lightweight garments that cover their arms and legs Use bug spray to keep the pesky bugs off! Avoid being outdoors in the early morning or evening when bugs are traditionally out. Beware of poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac. If you come in contact with any of these plants, wash the area with soap and water for at least 10 minutes and purchase an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. Here’s a quick guide for identifying those plants: Poison Ivy: Three pointed, notched leaves per stem Poison Oak: Similar to poison ivy, but tips of leaves are rounded Poison Sumac: 6 – 12 leaves, grow in pairs with a single leaf topping stems We hope that these tips keep you and your family during your summer activities!