Summer should be synonymous with fun—not with emergency room visits or nights of pain and sickness. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips to use this summer to keep you and your family safe and out of the emergency room (hopefully!).
To keep minor injuries from turning into larger problems, prepare before you head out for a summer of fun. Check your first aid kits to make sure they are fully stocked, and restock as needed. Put your stocked kits in your cars, camper, home, cabin, and any other area you frequent during the summer.
Make sure you and your family are also trained in basic first aid (don’t forget to educate yourself in how to handle dental emergencies too!) so you can provide care if, and when, needed.
Sun burns and sunstroke can put a real damper on your summer fun. Apply sunscreen before you head to the lake or pool, when hiking, or for any fun in the sun. Make sure you get those vulnerable (and often forgotten) areas, such as the tips of your ears and nose. Reapply sunscreen frequently, and make sure your lips are protected from the sun as well. For young children and infants, use swim shirts and big hats to protect them from the sun.
Avoid too many sweet indulgences.
Summer picnics and outings come with a lot of summer treats: s’mores, cotton candy, ice cream, soda…the list could go on and on. As tempting as they might be, indulge with caution: those sweet treats can lead to cavities and dental problems. Avoid those cavities by brushing afterwards, not sipping soda or sweet drinks, and swishing or drinking water when done (more information about soda and cavities here).
Be careful with fireworks.
Fireworks can be lots of fun, but are also the cause of many emergency room visits every year. Use extreme caution when setting off fireworks, and monitor children very closely with sparklers (or not let them hold them at all).
Don’t abandon your good hygiene habits and routines.
It’s normal to fall out of routine and forget to brush when you get home late, or for kids to forget to brush because they are not getting ready for school. Make sure everyone brushes and flosses during summer to prevent unpleasant cavities and dental emergencies that come when you miss brushing.
Keep the bugs away.
Ticks and mosquitoes can be a major pain during summer, and also the source of illnesses that could derail your summer plans. Use bug spray, oils, and other deterrents to keep those bugs away—and keep your family healthy through the summer.
With all the fun of summer, dehydration can quickly become a problem when you’re so busy. Keep a water bottle close at hand, and take frequent water breaks to stay hydrated throughout the day. If you drink sports drinks for hydration, make sure you follow up with water and brush soon after to stay hydrated without cavities.
Keep your important appointments.
Let’s just state the obvious: summers get busy. When your calendar starts filling up with sports games, get togethers, and all the other fun of summer, it can be really tempting to cancel the important appointments (i.e. dentist, doctor, etc.) that keep you healthy. Book your summer appointments well in advance to find a convenient time, and make sure you keep them to stay healthy.
Take two wheel safety to heart.
Bikes and summer go together, so take full advantage of the warm temperatures and enjoy some two wheel fun. When you do head out on the road or trail, make sure everyone wears their helmet and obeys the rules of the road.
Avoid pesty plants.
Poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac are everywhere—along hiking trails, in our yards, along the roads. Know what each of these pesty plants look like, and avoid them as much as possible.
Be safe in the water.
During summer, our lakes and pools get very crowded with swimmers, boaters, and recreationists of all kinds. When you’re out on the water or in the water, be safe. Use life jackets when boating or tubing, and when swimming if you’re not the strongest swimmer. Don’t get into the water after a friend or relative if they are struggling; instead throw or extend a flotation device to them to assist them without getting in trouble.
Never let your kids go into a lake or pool without keeping a close eye on them. Close gates around pools to keep little kids safe. Have fun this summer, and be safe!