Well it’s finally started getting warm and we turn our attention to getting out in the great outdoors. However, before embarking on a trip to the local pool, hiking trail or campsite, be sure to remember these five, easy tips to stay protected against summer sunburn, bug bites and pesky plants.
Before heading to the beach, lake or neighborhood pool, familiarize yourself with some basic water safety tips. Always swim in areas where there are lifeguards and keep a constant eye on children, especially. Know each person’s ability to swim and don’t let kids play around drains, pumps and suction fittings. If you see someone struggling in a pool or lake, don’t just jump in. It’s dangerous. Instead throw the person a Coast Guard approved flotation device or, if not available, use a pole to reach them.
Drink water at least every 20 minutes. To prevent heat stress and heat stroke, adults and children should stay hydrated when outside on hot and humid days. If you’re going to be outside for any activities lasting more than an hour, you should consume a sports drink to replenish your electrolytes in addition to consuming water.
Use a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays. Use it often, even if it is cloudy…you can still get burned. You should also limit your sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are the strongest.
Always try to avoid areas where insects nest or gather, such as pools of still water, picnic areas of uncovered foods or gardens where flowers are in bloom. Also, avoid using heavily scented soaps, perfumes and hair sprays which can attract mosquitoes and other biting bugs.
Use bug spray with DEET. The chemical wards off ticks (which can carry Lyme disease) and mosquitoes (which can spread West Nile virus). Most pediatricians recommend 10% to 30% DEET for children older than 2 months, but don’t use it on infants.
Learn to recognize poison ivy, oak and sumac and stay clear of it. When hiking, carry a book with photos of these plants to refer to, just in case you find yourself out of mobile phone coverage. It’s also a good idea to always take a first aid kit with you during your hikes or waterfront adventures and make sure it contains anti-itch gels, antibiotic ointment, various bandages and emergency hydration drinks or packs.
At Security Specialists, we believe that if you exercise just a little caution, you and your kids can have a safe, secure and fun summer!