For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT
After the long winter and rainy spring, everyone is anxious for summer and the activities that take us outdoors. To be sure you enjoy all that summer has to offer, remember to be observant and practice safety measures.
Don’t miss out on the summer fun. Follow these tips when making your plans.
Camping – Be sure to plan for unexpected weather or storms, carry plenty of water if hiking, take a map/compass to prevent getting lost, wear comfortable walking shoes, wear a hat and sunscreen for sun protection, use insect repellant for mosquitoes and ticks, and wear a whistle to use in case you get lost.
Swimming or Boating – Drowning can occur in less than 2 inches of water so teach your children to swim, wear properly fitting flotation devices, keep children out of hot tubs (they get dangerously overheated), use the buddy system, dive only in areas marked for diving, watch for shallow depths in lakes, and supervise all activity.
Fireworks – Explosions of any kind are dangerous so handle with care, keep sparklers outside and at arm’s length (they can reach 1,800 degrees), have a bucket of water nearby in case of fire, don’t allow children to handle them before or after firing, and keep pets indoors as they get frightened and may get injured.
“What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?” Ecclesiastics 2:22 NIV
Since skin damage from the sun is cumulative, protect yourself now whenever you work or play in the sun. When possible, avoid the hottest part of the day (from 11AM to 3PM) and be sure to cover your arms, legs, and heads during that time. Hats are a great way to stay cool and protect your eyes. For added eye protection, buy sunglasses that absorb the UV light. Don’t forget sunscreen. Depending on your activity and sensitivity, use one with a minimum rating of SPF 15 and reapply every 2 hours for the best protection. It is very important to protect babies and young children from the sun. Since recommendations vary, check with your doctor before using sunscreen on your baby.
“In my search for wisdom, I tried to observe everything that goes on all across the earth. I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night.” Ecclesiastics 8:16 NLT
Summer means spending time outdoors and risking injury in the name of fun. If you are a pool worshiper, teach children proper pool safety and etiquette to avoid potential injuries from running, horseplay, or drowning. Those in sports must understand the need for proper hydration, safety equipment, and warm-up exercises. Dehydration can cause heat-related injuries and poorly prepared bodies can cause muscle and joint injuries. Even the common bicycle can be harmful if wheels, brakes and seats are not tested and maintained properly. Don’t put your child at risk because of haphazard care. Ask yourself what skills need to be taught and what equipment needs to be evaluated before your summer begins.
Bicycling – Head injuries are common so protect children with properly fitting helmets, replace ones that have hit a hard surface, wear bright clothing for visibility, tie loose pant legs to prevent tangling in the chain, teach the rules of the road, never wear headphones, and maintain the bike (inflate the tires, oil the chain, adjust the handlebars, replace worn out brakes, and adjust the seat).
Sun Exposure – Sun damage is cumulative (children gather 50% to 80% of their lifetime exposure before 18) and cause wrinkles, sunburns, cataracts, damage to the immune system, and skin cancer. Be extra careful with skin protection if
you have very fair skin/hair, a family history of moles, a family history of skin cancer, or take medicine that causes increased sun sensitivity.
“He kept them safe, so they were not afraid.” Psalm 78:3 NLT
Many people travel in the summer to visit family or take vacations so travel safety is important to a fun trip. Make sure you have your vehicle serviced and that you have packed for roadside emergencies. Do you have jumper cables, tools to change a flat tire, and a first aid kit? If you are traveling with a boat or camper, have it checked for working lights and hitches. Check all car seats to be sure they are properly installed, especially if they have been transferred to someone else’s vehicle. Once on the road, never rush. To arrive safely obey speed limits, use seat belts, and take breaks at least every 2 hours to avoid fatigue.
Accidents occur when you try to “beat the rush” or drive tired so take your time and enjoy your trip.
“Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water.” Exodus 23:25 NIV
As you plan the summer’s activities, keep your food safe from food poisoning. These tips will help when you travel with food. Place cold drinks in a separate cooler since frequently opening it for drinks releases cold air and compromises your food. Carefully wrap uncooked meats to prevent contamination of your lunch. Pack your cooler to the top with food or ice to eliminate dead space. In sunny locations, place the cooler in the shade, half buried in the sand, or under something that will reflect the light. The trunk of a black sedan will only increase the temperature and your risk for bacteria. And never leave food on the table for more than 1 hour if it is above 90 degrees!!
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