Summer is short but sweet, so if you’re going to make the most of the season, it’s important that you prepare for it. The best way to do this is by making sure your kids and home are geared up and ready to go. If you’re not sure where to start, Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning has some tips that will get you well on your way.
Ready the Pool
Statistics suggest that for every child that dies from drowning each year in the US, an additional eight receive emergency room treatment. Needless to say, water safety is a serious issue. While enrolling your child in swimming lessons is a smart idea, it can take weeks to become experienced swimmers, and that is with a high quality water competency program. With that in mind, it is important to implement all layers of protection in water safety: constant supervision, designating a water watcher, high locks and alarms on doors leading to pool, pool fences that enclose the pool and removing pet doors.
If you find yourself outnumbered with kids who cannot safely swim, do not reach for a puddle jumper. Opt for sprinklers or a splash pad for the day instead. Coast guard approved life jackets should be reserved for uncontrolled water settings like lakes and oceans. Puddle Jumpers are NOT recommended. With repeated use, children become accustomed to a vertical position in the water and they do not understand that without it on, they will not float. This is detrimental and does not encourage a horizontal position to turn and float.
While the aforementioned devices are helpful, have you taken the appropriate measures to ensure your children can’t accidentally fall in the pool? Ensure your pool is safe by investing in some safety equipment such as a swimming pool barrier, a fence, a cover, or a net. In the event of an emergency, it’s also wise to keep rescue equipment such as a life hook, a spine board, or a rescue tube near the pool. Learning CPR is a valuable skill all adults should learn. Early CPR in an emergency can turn tragedy into a miracle.
Last but not least, don’t let kids play in the pool unsupervised—even if you work from home. Instead, let your kids know that you’ll spend some time poolside whenever you have a free moment. This will help give your children something to look forward to.
Protect from the Sun
While there’s no harm in slathering on the sunscreen and reapplying every couple of hours, getting your kids a few pieces of clothing that incorporate sun protection can be a wise investment. UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) gear, from street clothes to hats to swimsuits, are increasingly popular as people have become more aware of the dangerous effects of the sun. The protection factor ranges from 15–50, and these items are considered more effective than traditional sunscreen because they always function without the need to be reapplied.
Guard Against Insects
Like with protection from the sun, there’s also special clothing that wards off insects. These futuristic garments use permethrin, a synthetic form of the chemical pyrethrum found in chrysanthemum flowers, to knock down insects that come into close contact. This is not to say that you shouldn’t consider using chemical sprays or wipes like DEET—especially in places like ankles, hands, the back of the neck, and any other exposed areas of skin.
Prepare the Grill
Grilling is a summer pastime, but since it’s likely that your grill hasn’t been used for several months, give it a once over to make sure it’s in working order. Check for gas leaks by brushing the lines with soapy water. Bubbles indicate a problem, so either tighten your connection or replace the line. Loosen up the grit on your grill by heating it up and rubbing an onion on the grates. Using a wire bristle brush, give it a good scrub down with a mixture of water and dish soap or lemon juice. And don’t forget to clean out the tubes and burners.
Make Sure the AC Works
After spending time outdoors, there’s nothing worse than coming into a house that’s muggy because the air conditioner isn’t functioning. Time suggests cleaning your filters and having your unit annually serviced to ensure there aren’t any problems that need to be addressed. These regular maintenance habits will guarantee you keep a cool house during the hot months.
Now that you’ve properly prepared for summer, you can concentrate on having fun with your family. Spend some time in your backyard by engaging in family activities such as having a campout, making a bird feeder, or simply playing a few rounds of disc golf. Summer days are not-so-endless, so get out and enjoy them while you can.
By Alex Robbins from SafetyToday.org