It’s Hot Out There; Keep It Cool

Put the fun in summer by making safety a priority!

Summer is here and with it comes vacations, swimming, outdoor activities and sun! Keep the fun in summer by making sure your family is safe. To help you prepare, here are a few safety tips for families. 

Swim, Swam, Swum
Swimming is a great way to keep kids and teens engaged and cool. But before pulling out the swimsuits and goggles, review these tips from Boys & Girls Club supporter Michael Phelps, an 8-time Olympic gold medalist (and someone who knows a thing or two about swimming)!

  • Stay Safe
    • Always know where every child is at all times. Safety must be the #1 priority.
    • Know when children are getting tired and suggest moving on to new activities.
    • Stay hydrated! The sun gets hot, and although you are in water, you may not be getting enough water in you!
    • Wear sunscreen. Preferably a high SPF that is also waterproof.
  • Go Slow
    • Enter the water slowly the first time, giving children time to adjust to the experience of the water. We ultimately want to build comfort, confidence and a feel for the water.
    • Hold a hand or hold the child close at first so they feel secure.
    • Give plenty of time for free swim and water exploration. Allow children to experiment, but be there to support.
  • Know your Surroundings
    • Be aware of where the pool is shallow or deep.
    • Point out the lifeguards and know where they are at all times.
    • Explain that if kids need assistance, they can ask a lifeguard.

Ouch, Sunscream
People of all ages tend to spend more time in the sun during summer months, increasing the chance of harmful sunburns and skin damage. When outdoors, protect your family with sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) 15 rating or higher to get adequate protection. Also, look for a “Broad Spectrum” label, a new rating by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, indicating better sun protection against UVA and UVB rays. Before taking infants out in the sun, consult with your pediatrician about the types of sunscreen best suited for babies.

Mmmm, Picnics!
Bring the whole family together with a picnic and a game of volleyball, soccer, badminton or other favorite family activity. When assembling your basket of goodies, follow FoodSafety.gov’s four basic tenets:
 

  1. CLEAN:  Wash hands and surfaces often
  2. SEPARATE:  Don't cross-contaminate! 
  3. COOK:   Cook to proper temperature
  4. CHILL:   Refrigerate promptly

Do Insects Bug You?
Pesky mosquitoes and ticks can ruin an early evening activity and cause illnesses such as West Nile or Lyme disease. Keep loved ones safe and the insects at bay with the appropriate type and amount of insecticide.  

When using insecticide:

  • follow the label,
  • use on exposed skin only,
  • keep out of reach of small children, and
  • avoid applying near eyes and mouths.

The Environmental Protection Agency can help determine which insecticides are right for you and what protective measure to take before heading out the door. Visit the EPA’s website for more information. 

Memories in the Making
Set aside specific time for family activities this summer. By planning ahead and including these basic safety tips, you can focus on fun. It is a great way to connect with your kids and to create memories to last a lifetime.

Have a great summer!

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Boys & Girls Clubs have some 4,000 Club facilities throughout the country and BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide.