Have Fun, Play Smart This Summer

As the school year comes to a close, children and parents alike look forward to enjoying warm summer days outdoors. Summer weather is perfect for active quality time together, perhaps at the beach, at camp, or at a neighborhood barbecue. But before you run out the door, make sure you and your family are prepared for whatever comes your way.

Before you leave…

Keep a first aid kit handy. It’s always good to have a fully stocked first aid kit on hand in your home or car in case of any accidental bumps or bruises. Smaller kits that fit in a purse help too. First aid kits can be purchased through the Red Cross and at most pharmacies and department stores.

Drink plenty of water. Summer heat means a higher risk of dehydration, especially in children and older adults. Keep ready-to- fill water bottles by the tap; put a case of water in the trunk of your car—whatever helps everyone remember to drink up. The key is to not wait until you’re thirsty: Keep sipping water throughout the day.

Wear sunscreen. If you’re going to be out in the sun between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm, sunscreen is a must to protect from sunburn, skin damage due to sun exposure, and skin cancer. It’s ideal to put on sunscreen at least a half hour before you go outdoors, then reapply every two hours.

When you’re outside…

Out for a bike ride? Wear a helmet. Accidents happen, even when you’re being careful. That’s why it’s a good idea to wear a helmet. If you do take a tumble, or if a serious accident occurs involving another bicycle or vehicle, a helmet can increase your chances of survival and reduce chances of serious brain injury.

Walking around the neighborhood? Cross the street safely. Always stop and look both ways, even if there’s a pedestrian traffic light, and make sure the little ones are walking with an adult or and older, responsible child.

Swimming? Eliminate distractions. Leave the smartphone in your bag. A responsible adult should always be on hand watching if the kids are swimming. Anything can happen in an instant—even to kids who know how to swim well or are using flotation devices.

For more tips on playing smart this summer, visit fideliscare.org and click “News & Information.”