Summer has finally arrived! With all the fun these few short months hold, it’s easy to overlook the dangers that may be lurking.
Whatever your summer plans, take the following steps to protect your children and family to ensure that you have a safe summer free of avoidable accidents:
Take extra care around pools
When your kids are playing in a pool, there should always be adult supervision. Whoever is supervising should avoid getting too focused on other activities, like playing on their phone or reading a book.
Many adults think these distracting activities won't prevent them from hearing if someone is in distress in the pool, but they are wrong. Someone struggling to swim may not be able to shout out, and some activities can make you tune out other stimuli.
Be especially vigilant when the little ones are poolside or swimming. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends designating one adult to watch all children swimming or playing in or around water, and being close enough to reach the child at all times.
Have a back-up GPS plan
Once you get out of the city and cell service becomes spottier, it can play havoc with your car or phone GPS. Have a back-up plan and consider investing in a state highway map and a compass so that you can at least figure out where you are by looking at road signs.
You should also be prepared in case you are stranded or lost. Keep a survival kit in your car with emergency water, food, blankets, flares, and other supplies.
Take precautions when camping
One of the biggest problems people encounter when camping is wild animals coming into their camp at night to get food. Animals have a keen sense of smell and while critters like racoons and chipmunks can be just a nuisance, a bear or bison entering your camp can have deadly consequences.
If you are in a wildlife area, make sure you store your food in a place that animals can't get to it, like your vehicle. However, if you are in bear country, that may not be such a good idea. Some campgrounds provide on-site metal bear-proof containers in which to store food. In a pinch, hang food in a tree.
Beware of ticks
If you are in a forest, park, grassland, prairie, or other nature area, one of you (or your pet) is bound to pick up a few ticks along the way. While most tick bites can be just a nuisance, others, which spread Lyme disease or the Powassan virus, can make you extremely sick - or worse.
To avoid and prevent tick bites, the CDC recommends that you:
Don't leave kids, pets in the car
Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
The most vulnerable are infants and small children, who may be forgotten strapped into their safety seats. One way to avoid this from happening is by using the "teddy-bear system." When the safety seat is empty stow the teddy bear in the seat, buckled in like a child. When the child is in the seat, move the teddy to the front passenger seat to remind yourself your little one is in the back.
Protect against medical emergencies
If you are planning to travel overseas or embark on a cruise, you may want to consider travel insurance with emergency medical benefits and emergency medical transportation benefits. These benefits can cover your medical care and emergency transportation if you have a medical emergency while traveling.