Family Matters #25: Summer Fun, Summer Safety

Photo 55891537 / Bike Safety © Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

By Lucia Ferrara

Summer is here and the kids want to be outside enjoying the sunny rays and hot temperatures. However, do not be fooled by the warm summer breezes and the sounds of the ice cream truck pulling up in your neighborhood. Summer safety for the entire family is especially important and is something we sometimes overlook.

After a long year of dealing with a pandemic, kids are looking forward to the outdoors. Outdoor activities do not only benefit the body but the mind as well. As a child, I remember in the summer I would eat breakfast and watch my morning cartoons and head outside for the rest of the day up and down the neighborhood block with friends all day long until it was time for lunch or supper. After supper, we were allowed back out until the streetlights came on and it was time to go home, and you were in for the night. But it started all over again the next day!!

Yes, times have changed, but the desire as a kid to be outdoors with friends has not. So, safety is a big issue.

All the articles in the Family Matters series are available here

Swimming lessons should be given at an early age and a refresher course as they get older might be beneficial as well. According to the American Swim Academy, swim lessons teach kids a valuable, lifelong skill and instill crucial water safety habits. Even after learning to swim, kids should always have supervision in a pool.

If your kids are spending time at the pool this summer, please keep the following safety tips in mind: Always apply appropriate sunscreen on kids before jumping in the water and allow the sunscreen to dry. Explain to your kids why they shouldn’t run on the pool deck: running can cause slips and falls. Take breaks every hour to get hydrated and perhaps reapply sunscreen. Staying hydrated is probably one of the most important tips for summer safety. Our bodies need water (not soda pop!), which gives us energy and prevents serious illnesses like heat stroke or dehydration.

If you are heading out to the lake and/or camping for the weekend with the family, then it is even more important to follow safety measures as a family. During water activities like boating, kayaking and such, be sure to wear life jackets that appropriate for you and your child. Keeping the family protected from bug bites like mosquitoes and ticks is crucial. If left unnoticed and not removed properly, ticks can cause Lyme Disease. Get educated on how to remove those properly.

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Another activity the whole family may enjoy is riding bikes or scooters or rollerblading. If you are one of those families, please wear your helmets! I cannot emphasize that enough. Children follow your lead, so adults need to wear one too!

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is a lifesaving technique, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. Know CPR is useful in many emergencies, such as a heart attack or near drowning. The American Red Cross offers CPR classes to the public, as do many other local health centers and organizations. You might consider getting CPR training so you are prepared for many emergencies and accidents.

No matter what activities your family undertake together this summer, please remember the following:

  1. Be smart and prepared.
  2. Get educated on safety tips and CPR
  3. Have fun together!

[Lucia Ferrara is the Director of Hospitality at Precious Blood Renewal Center and the lead organizer here of Parent Cafes. Share your thoughts with Lucia or ask her questions by using the form below or sending an email to info@pbrenewalcenter.org. Read more about the Parent Café here.]

Photo 55891537 / Bike Safety © Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

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