Protect Against Insects and BitesMost insects here in Utah are pretty harmless, but there are a few you’ll want to steer clear of. Choose an EPA-registered insect repellent with the active ingredient DEET to protect against unwanted mosquito bites as well as ticks. Bites from these bugs are uncomfortable for everyone, but if you’re allergic, it’s even worse. You’ll also want to watch out for brown recluse spiders and black widows to avoid getting a severe and painful spider bite. While you’re on the trails, be mindful of rattlesnakes and other creatures that can bite you, your kids, or your furry friends. If you do get a rattlesnake bite, remove rings, bracelets, and watches before swelling starts, wash it with soap and water quickly, cover the bite with a clean dressing, and seek out medical aid within about 30 minutes.
Safe Food PracticesYou’ve probably been to a family BBQ where that mayo-based macaroni salad has sat out a bit too long. Food poisoning generally peaks in the summer months due to the hot temperatures. Be careful around raw meats when you’re in the grilling mood and don’t let food sit out in the heat for too long. In general, try to get food back in the refrigerator after it’s been on the picnic table for about two hours. Additionally, minimize the amount of touching that happens at the party. Try to keep foods covered, consider designating a server to avoid too many hands in the potato salad, and make sure to have hand washing areas wherever possible. If you get done with the BBQ and you’re not sure if something has been out for too long, throw it out. It’s not worth risking food poisoning.
Don’t Slack on Children’s SafetyBike rides, skateboarding, and roller skating (which has surprisingly made a comeback) all require helmets. Even though it’s hot, kids should still be wearing helmets. Head injuries can be life threatening and life changing, and it’s simply not worth the risk. Make sure kids are buckled in safely in the vehicle on your road trips and adventures. Properly buckling your kids reduces the risk of serious or fatal injuries by almost 80 percent. And remember, kids under the age of 13 are safest in the back seat
Keep up on Vaccines
Whether you’re planning to travel out of the country or not, immunizing your kids is the best way to protect them from serious diseases. Summer is a good time to catch up on these vaccines. The CDC also recommends three vaccines for 11- to 12-year-old kids to protect against meningitis, HPV cancers, and whooping cough. Check with your pediatrician if you have concerns or questions about vaccines.
More summer safety suggestions are found in Part 2 of this blog series.