4 must-dos for a safe summer
Summer is the ultimate laid-back time with flip-flops, t-shirts and barbecues.
Although it’s easy to be casual about many things in the summer, it’s not good to be casual about safety. With warm weather comes the risk for certain injuries and health problems—some life-threatening.
Check out these suggestions on how to keep you and your family safe:
- Secure home windows. According to the National Safety Council, falls are among the leading causes of injury and death in children. The Council says that you cannot depend on screens to keep children safe, so your best choice is to install window guards or window stops—especially on bedroom windows.
- Make helmets a priority. When your children hop on their bikes, make sure they wear a helmet. Helmets help reduce the risk of concussions, other traumatic brain injuries and even death from crashes. The Centers for Disease Control states that helmets with a CPSC approval are good for biking and in-line skating. “Multi-sport” helmets with a Snell B-95 approval are designed for skateboarding, roller-skating and riding scooters as well as biking and in-line skating.
- Watch out for heat-related ailments. As the temperature rises, so does the risk of heat-related problems. Dehydration and sunburn are preventable ailments that are commonly seen in the emergency department throughout the summer, says Aaron Barclay, registered nurse and manager of emergency and trauma services at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. Remember to drink plenty of water and to apply sunscreen generously and often. Also be aware of three heat-related syndromes: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
- Know the signs of anaphylaxis. This is a potentially deadly allergic reaction. The most common triggers are foods, insect stings, medications and latex. Signs and symptoms include a red rash (usually itchy) with hives or welts; swelling in the throat or elsewhere; wheezing; and trouble breathing or swallowing. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention, including an injection of the drug epinephrine and a trip to the hospital emergency department.
Barclay says to consider consulting your physician about an EpiPen if you or a family member have a known allergy to bee stings, food items or other triggers.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.