I'm excited to have Mary Kremer guest posting for me today! She has some awesome tips that I knew my readers would greatly benefit from!
Summer is a prime time for swimming. But before you decide to go for a dip, you need to be prepared for an emergency. According to the CDC, drowning is one of the top five causes of unintentional death in the U.S., and one of every five people who drowns is a child. Children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates. To help prevent drownings, here are some steps you can take:
- Put barriers up: If you have a backyard pool and young children, invest in a barrier, like a pool fence, to keep young children away from the water when there’s no adult to supervise.
- Enroll your children in swim lessons. Lack of ability to swim is a major contributor to drowning. Research has shown that formal lessons can help prevent drowning in the most vulnerable age group, 1-4 year olds.
- Have a swim buddy: Use the buddy system while you swim to ensure everyone is always accounted for.
- Wear life jackets! Have your inexperienced or young swimmers wear life jackets when they’re in the water.
- Always have an adult to supervise. If there are kids in the pool, there should be an adult around who can administer CPR in case of an emergency.
- Head low, mouth at water level
- Head tilted back with mouth open
- Glassy eyes, unable to focus, or closed eyes
- Hyperventilating or gasping
- Hair over eyes or face
- Arm motions as if climbing a ladder
Swimming can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to be prepared and cautious.
In very hot weather, our natural cooling systems can shut down, leading to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. This process can occur even more rapidly in a small child. Heat exhaustion manifests in nausea, vomiting, headaches, weakness, increased thirst, clammy skin, and a fever less than 104 degrees. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke, which can be deadly.
If your children will be spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, here are some tips to avoid overheating:
- Choose loose, light clothing.
- Stay inside during the hottest times of the day.
- Stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb here is the 8x8 rule. Drink eight, eight ounce fluid cups a day, which is about 1.9 liters. Although the amount every person should drink changes according to your size and amount of exertion, this number is a good one to keep in mind.
- Always use sunblock of at least SPF 30 before you go out. Reapply every few hours.
- Don’t overdo it. Don’t plan activities in the heat of the day or when you aren’t prepared for the heat. If you or your kids are tired, or develop any symptoms of heat exhaustion, stop what you’re doing immediately.
If your kids are just hanging out in the backyard, there are still a few hazards you should be aware of. Number one on that list is the trampoline. According to a study done by the Indiana University school of medicine, there were over a million injuries (including broken bones and fractures) from trampolines from 2002-2011. A million injuries!
The best way to prevent most trampoline injuries is to avoid owning one. However, if you do have a trampoline, here are some tips from Dr. Skedros to keep in mind:
- Make sure they’re covered. Check your homeowner’s insurance to see if it covers trampoline injuries. You may be surprised to find it doesn’t. Most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover trampolines. That means if your child or a neighbor’s child is injured on the trampoline, you might be in trouble.
- Install them at ground level. A trampoline that is flush with the surrounding ground AND has a net around the perimeter is much safer for a child and much less likely to cause a serious injury.
- Set up some ground rules. Set up some safety measures and enforce them. Only allow one child on the trampoline at a time and strictly enforce this rule. Never allow any other equipment (like bikes or toys) on at any time.
With precautions, many common summer injuries can be avoided. The key is to prepare and always make sure there is an adult around in case of emergency. Keep these safety precautions in mind and don’t forget to have fun!