Summer is here and with it tons of outdoor activities, water fun, and travel adventures for families. While parents stress most about packing and how to entertain the kids in the car on a long drive to the beach, amusement park, or campsite, what they need to also think about is safety en route and at their destination. Drowning, dehydration, and overheating are just a few of the common causes of families heading to the emergency room during summer break. Learn to avoid them, keep your family safe, and make a few memories you want to cherish, not forget.
Know the signs of drowning
Drowning is a very scary, yet very real event whenever people get close to water. Most people think drowning is a dramatic event just like they see in the movies. It is not. Drowning is quiet and doesn't look like drowning. Here is what you need to look out for, taken from a great article written by Mario Vittone a few years ago.
- They can't call for help
- They can't wave for help
- They remain upright in the water
- Their eyes are glassy
- Their face may be hard to see
- Their head is low in the water
- They are quiet
- They don't seem in distress
Best rule of thumb - if your kids are quiet in the pool, check on them. No kid is ever quiet in a pool. Find out what is going on, even if they are just sulking because some other kid took their pool noodle.
Seek out shade
Shade is the name of the game in the summer. Even if you are a long time sun worshipper, encourage your kids to hit the shade every now and then so their bodies get a break. Reapply sunscreen and bug spray, take a sip of water, enjoy lunch, whatever you need to do to give their fried bodies a rest.
Make drinking water fun
Getting a kid to stop long enough to drink water in the summer is like trying to herd cats. You know they need to stay hydrated, their bodies are probably even telling them to drink water, but they are having so much fun they just don't stop long enough to take a sip. Grab fun ice cube trays, personalized cups that they love (we love our Camel Back straw cups with cool kid patterns), and reward water drinking. If they finish three cups of water before lunch, maybe a frozen treat awaits them.
Double-check the car before you lock it
Kids fall asleep. So do pets. Double-check your car before you head into the house or a store - every single time. Even if it doesn't seem like it is that hot out, check your car. Summer outings are a blast, but when you turn off your car it heats up well beyond the outside temperature. You may also be in a hurry and forget one of the kids in the car. Accidents happen all too often in the summer. Check your car so you don't become another nightly news headline.
The summer doesn't have to be scary. For the most part it is really fun to get out to explore with your kids, let them jump off the high dive for the first time at the local pool, and run around playing soccer with their friends all day long. Go over safety tips with your kids, remind them to drink water until it is a natural habit, and always keep an eye on your children when they are in the water. Summer should be fun and exciting, not filled with accidents. The only accident you should see is the ice cream falling off your child's cone. That is one thing that can always be fixed.
What are some other great summer safety tips?
No matter where your adventures take you, make sure you have the right travel insurance coverage for the experience!