End of Summer Safety Tips

Labor Day is the perfect time to wrap up the summer months with everyone’s favorite summer activities. The weekend is a last chance to enjoy the sunshine, pool activities and watching fireworks, but implementing safety precautions are still important.

One in three pediatric deaths worldwide and more than 12,000 pediatric deaths yearly in the U.S. are the result of an accident. While summertime elicits a feeling of carefree fun, children and families should always pay attention to their surroundings and keep in mind the important safety measures associated with traditional summertime activities. Include these summer safety tips to enjoy the last bit of warm weather and sunny days spent at the pool.

  • Firework Safety: An average of 230 people end up in the emergency room each day with firework-related injuries in the month of July. Those who plan to set off their own fireworks should follow precautions and adhere to local laws and regulations. Mixing alcohol with fireworks puts guests at risk of injury. When handling fireworks, set aside alcohol or ask sober guests to host the show. Always aim fireworks in the opposite direction of guests, houses and trees. Those watching should stay at least 25 meters away, keeping in mind the fallout grounds where debris could potentially land. Those lighting fireworks should quickly step back a minimum of five to eight feet.
  • Pool Safety: According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death among children under the age of 15. When swimming keep in mind safety measures. Stay in close proximity to the pool and regularly check-in to ensure those swimming are safe. Pay attention to the lifeguard’s location and encourage the children to stay nearby. Pair older kids with young children to keep an eye on one another and ensure safe swimming. Although the rules of the pool are seemingly simple, it’s important to reinforce the basics, like walking along wet pool decks, so children can avoid serious slips and injuries.
  • Sun Safety: Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States and one of the most preventable. Without proper protection, children are vulnerable to a variety of short and long-term skin, eye and immune system issues. Experts recommend choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. Remember that sunscreen wears off and must be reapplied at least every two hours, especially after swimming, sweating or toweling off. Unprotected skin can be damaged by UV radiation in as little as 15 minutes, but it may take up to 12 hours for skin to show the full effect. Children and adults should avoid direct sun exposure for long periods of time, especially during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

About the Author: Dr. S. George Kipa, MD, is a deputy chief medical officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan

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