Summer safety primer
With summer right around the corner, it’s a great time for a few quick reminders that can help you and your family stay safe and healthy all summer long.
8 summer safety tips and reminders
- Apply sunscreen. Not only do burns hurt, but skin cancer and premature aging can be caused by exposure to the sun. Keep you and your loved ones safe by correctly applying a sunscreen with a high SPF rating. For example, SPF30 will block 97% of the sun’s harmful UVB rays provided you apply it correctly. Visit The Canadian Cancer Society for tips on how to use sunscreen effectively.
- Know what heat stroke looks like. Heat stroke happens as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures and is usually coupled with dehydration. It is a medical emergency and you should call 911 immediately if you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke. According to WebMD symptoms may include:
- Throbbing headache
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Lack of sweating, despite the heat
- Red, hot, dry skin
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Behavioral changes like confusion, disorientation or staggering
While waiting for paramedics to arrive, move the person to an air-conditioned area (or at least a cooler, shady area), remove any unnecessary clothing and attempt to cool them down.
- Check in on older friends and family members. Heat can be difficult for elderly people to tolerate. If you have loved ones who live in homes or buildings without air conditioning, check in on them regularly during very hot weather, and offer to take them to air conditioned public places – or to your own house – until the heat wave passes. Also don’t forget to never leave children or pets alone in a hot car.
- Know what drowning looks like. Contrary to popular belief, drowning is usually quick and quiet – there’s not a lot of splashing around, and victims are unable to call for help. This is how children can drown within feet of adults who believe they are properly supervised. Watch this quick animated video to learn what drowning actually looks like, and remember to always stay within arms reach of small children in lakes and pools.
- Take a CPR course. This life-saving technique can be particularly important if you are camping in remote areas or spend a lot of time at the pool, but it is an incredible skill to have no matter where you are. Visit The Canadian Red Cross , American Red Cross, or The British Red Cross to register for classes.
- Learn how to treat bug bites. Someone at some point is going to get bitten or stung by a bug this summer. Visit KidsHealth to learn how to handle and prevent bee and wasp stings, spider bites, scorpion stings, and tick bites.
- Play safe. Make sure playgrounds are safe before you let your kids play and explore. Check out our article on playground safety for more information on how to make sure the parks in your community are safe and clean. If you find that your local playspaces need some help, check out our Playfinders program, where families tidy up and test out playgrounds in their neighborhood.
- Take cover during lightning storms. If possible, take shelter inside a fully enclosed building that has wiring and plumbing, not an open shed, garage or pavilion. If you can’t find a safe building, get inside a hard topped vehicle. If you can’t find a safe vehicle, crouch in a low-lying area and stay away from trees or metal poles. Seek emergency help if you see someone hit by lightning and start first aid, including CPR, if necessary.1
The summer is a wonderful time to get outside and enjoy friends and family. Taking a few precautions to ensure that you are always safe and healthy will make it a memorable and happy summer for all.
413801E CAN/US (06/16)