Don’t be a Summer Statistic

Let’s talk about summer fun. Have you noticed how all the world is making up for the lost summer of 2020? You may be as well. You just can’t seem to get enough vacation time, enough weekend jaunts, enough beach time, enough gardening, enough outdoor time crammed into your summer.

With each of these pleasures come a few caveats:

Beware of loving the sun a little too much. As much as melanoma screams for attention, the old It’ll never happen to me surfaces in every generation. Yes, you love the lake. Yes, sunscreen is a drag. Yes, you want a marvelous tan. No, you don’t want melanoma! Use some caution:

  • Get a good SPF sunscreen and apply it throughout the day.
  • If you must have a tan, get one in more controlled conditions than a trip to the lake.
  • Have some sunburn remedies on hand in case you get a little crispy and be proactive.

I grew up when everyone slathered on suntan oil and it was like frying chicken at the pool. I suffered through many horrific sunburns with blisters on top of blisters. No fun! I now keep a tub of salve on hand. Silvadene is used in burn units and I love the product.

Water safety is better learned before the accident. I know, everyone’s a great swimmer. I know. Everyone is being careful. Yet more than 800 children ages 4-14 die from drowning every year. Learn about the risk before you discount the reality of what really happens at the lake. Here are a few tips:

  • Never swim alone.
  • Don’t play breath-holding games. Children hyperventilate to prepare for the game and run the risk of passing out under water. DANGER!
  • Whether they like it or not, inexperienced swimmers need a life vest while in the water. So do experienced swimmers in choppy lake water.
  • Stay where the swimmers are…avoid jumping into the middle of the lake from a boat.

Research all the safety tips. Be prepared.

Accidents are never pre-meditated. It’s true. We all laugh about the famous last words: “Hold my beer and watch this!” No one is looking to mess up the party, yet accidents happen. Do the basics. Stay hydrated. Don’t overdo it. Know the risks. Take precautions. Let’s begin with the obvious.

               Look at your surroundings. Remove dangers like submerged branches or sharp edges. At the ocean you’d be aware of riptides or sharks…so why not employ that same reasoning to the lake or your own backyard? Look for danger to prevent accidents.

               Review the basics. Fire safety, stranger danger and good touch-bad touch are always worth a review. Avoid poison ivy by knowing what it looks like and scouting the area ahead of time. Making sure your littles are aware of the basics helps prevent the unthinkable.

               Come up with a jingle. Falling objects can be brutal, so wear a helmet to protect your noodle. Think about your summer events and come up with an appropriate jingle—it may sound corny, but those who must deal with the unthinkable will tell you, “Be prepared. Be safe.” A happy and safe summer is within your control.

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