Is Your Family Summer Safe?

two kids in summer pool, wearing bathing suits and smiling

You know that too much exposure to the sun is dangerous. Did you also know that too much exposure to the heat of summer can be just as dangerous? From eating outdoors to swimming in the pool, you need to take precautions to make it through the summer safely. Here are five precautions to take this summer season.

1.Sunscreen

You should apply sunscreen to every exposed bit of skin on your body before you head outdoors. Look for waterproof sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30 for maximum protection. Make sure every member of your family is protected, including your pets! You read it right: your pets need to be protected from the sun, too! Apply sunscreen to the top of your pets muzzle and the tops of its ears. If you have a pet that is white or has a very thin coat, apply sunscreen to their entire body. Sunscreen should be reapplied to everyone every two hours!

2.Shoes

As tempting as it is to spend the entire summer barefoot, make sure that you wear shoes when walking on any hot surfaces. This is particularly important for small children and animals. Never let your toddler walk barefoot on hot sand or sidewalks, and protect your pet’s paws with specially made boots available at pet stores.

3.Food

If you’re planning a picnic, cookout or BBQ, you have to have summer food smarts. Any foods that contain dairy must be kept chilled at all times! If you have fruit or vegetables, keeping them on ice will make sure they are still fresh when it’s time to eat. If you take the furry kids to the picnic, make sure you pack and bring their own food. Keep canned pet food on ice and resist the temptation to feed them human food off of the grill. Companion animals that aren’t used to eating human food can develop a potentially fatal condition called pancreatitis.

4.Vehicles

The inside of your car can be 20 degrees hotter than the outside air. Never forget this fact! Even if you crack the windows, your car will still be at least ten to 15 degrees hotter than it is outside. Never leave your children or your pets inside of the car while you run into the store, pay for your gas or drop off something at a friend’s house. If you can’t take your kids or pets where you are going, find a sitter or don’t go! If your car has been sitting in the summer sun, cool it off with the air conditioner just as you would warm it up in the winter. Even five minutes riding inside of a hot car is enough to cause heat related illness in children and pets.

5.Insects

Summertime brings with it a flying, creeping, crawling problem: insects! If you’ll be out in the evening hours, make sure that all humans are wearing insect repellent. Pets can safely be wiped down with a child-safe, DEET-free insect repellant like Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent. If anyone in the family is allergic to bees or wasps, be sure to carry an EpiPen with you at all times. If your pet gets stung or bitten by an insect, they can safely be given Benadryl tablets at one milligram per pound of body weight.

Summer is here and it’s time to get outside! By following the five tips above, you can be sure that you, your kids and your pets will enjoy the summer, and all that the season offers.

Andrew Maker writes full-time for education blogs nationwide.  He writes for www.usc.edu where you can find out more about mha degree programs.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want a safe and happy summer.

Image courtesy of Patrick Goossen via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

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  • Wilmette Platers April 2, 2013, 1:17 am

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