Summer Safety Tips

Summertime is a fun time for everyone. As schools let out, it is good to go ahead and plan for having a safe summer. Today, we want to focus on some of the top safety issues we see here in Tennessee and discuss ways to keep you and your kids safe.

Protect yourself in the hot summer sun

It can get hot out there, especially as July and August roll around. The sun’s rays are strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, so you could plan your sum time before of after that.

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 to 30. There is no such thing as too much SPF and find a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Put sunscreen on 30 minutes before heading outside and reapply it every two hours (or after getting out of the water or sweating).
  • Understand that clouds do not block the sun’s harmful rays and that the water can magnify the sun’s rays.
  • Make sure everyone drinks plenty of fluid, even if they are not thirsty.
  • Take frequent breaks inside or in the shade.

Staying safe in the water

Water is an essential part of the summer. Whether you head to a pool or our on a lake or river, there are some important things to remember.

  • Never leave children unattended in or near the water. It only takes a few seconds of inattention for a child to slip under the water and drown.
  • Very young children should wear life jackets or floaties when in the water or on docks. Older children, teens, and adults should all wear life jackets when boating or jet skiing.
  • Pools should be surrounded by a fence that children cannot get through or over. Spas and hot tubs should be covered when not in use.
  • If you go out on a boat, be sure there is a trained boat operator who knows all federal and boat rules and regulations.

Playground safety issues

Playgrounds can be great ways to get some of that bundled up energy out of our kids. However, more than 20,000 kids under the age of 14 suffer from playground-related brain injuries a year (including concussions).

  • Children should always be supervised at playgrounds.
  • Keep kids away from the front and rear of swings while they are in use.
  • Playground equipment can reach very high temperatures, enough to burn children. Always check the equipment before letting kids play.
  • Make sure the area around playground equipment is soft: wood chips, sand, or another soft surface.
  • Teach your children to take turns and not to roughhouse while on playground equipment.

Bicycles and Skateboards

If your kids use bikes or skateboards, make sure they remain safe. During the latest reporting year in Tennessee, there were hundreds of bicycle injuries and eight fatalities. Skateboards are responsible for nearly 100,000 ER visits each year in the US. Make sure kids:

  • Use an approved safety helmet.
  • Wear visible clothing, especially when they ride in the evening or at night.
  • Ensure kids understand the rules of the road and that they know to stop at stop signs and look for oncoming vehicles.

The summertime can be tremendous fun for everyone. Safety is the most important factor. If you are planning a family vacation, remember that safety rules go wherever you go.