Almost all families enjoy being outside during warm, summer months. However, avoiding sunburn and staying safe when swimming or engaging in other outdoor activities are two aspects to which serious thought must be given. Below are some essential safety and sun tips for families planning recreational activities outside or around their swimming pool this year.
Avoiding Excessive Sun Exposure:
Although some exposure to natural sunlight is healthy, both adults and children need protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. Children and adults should have limited sun exposure during peak intensity hours, which are typically between 10 AM and 3 PM. Those who plan to swim or participate in other outdoor recreational activities during such times should protect themselves through the use of sunscreen. It is best to choose a formula with an SPF of 15 or higher, as well as one that protects against both UVB and UVA rays.
Top safety tips also include protecting one’s eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. Anyone who plans to spend a substantial amount of time in direct sunlight should invest in good quality sunglasses. The brand selected should offer 97-100 percent UVA and UVB protection.
Although many people enjoy warm weather, physical activity should be limited during times of extreme heat. This is particularly true if humidity is high, as this places individuals at an increased risk for heat stroke or other heat related maladies. For this reason, physical exertion should be limited to 15 minutes during hot, humid weather.
Additionally, consuming enough water is vital when spending time outdoors during summer. It is never wise to begin physical activity if one is thirsty, and both children and adults should always have a sports drink or water on hand while active in the heat. Taking a break every 15-20 minutes to retreat to the shade and rehydrate is recommended.
Another great way to reduce the chance of heatstroke and other heat related problems is to wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Although boys and men sometimes remove their shirts to stay cooler, this is a mistake, since it leads to excessive sun exposure. Instead, individuals should wear white, lightweight clothing that will reflect the sun and thus keep them cooler in hot weather.
Maintaining safety in and around pool areas should be a priority for all individuals. Water tips offered by experts include making sure children are never left unattended near a pool: supervision by a responsible adult is the most effective avenue through which to prevent accidents and drowning.
All pools should be surrounded on all sides by a fence that measures at least four feet in height. There should be no protrusions or openings in the fence through which a youngster could gain access to the pool area without being noticed by an adult. Pool gates should be self-closing and self latching, and latches should be installed at a height that is not reachable by a child. Additionally, adults should never assume that because a child can swim, he or she is immune to drowning. It is also never wise to assume that rafts, toys, air mattresses or water wings are the same as life jackets. When boating or engaging in any other water sport, an authentic life jacket should always be worn. Swimming alone is not recommended for adults or children, as there is no way to receive help if something goes wrong.
Many people enjoy the outdoors, but it is important to recognize and minimize risks whenever possible. Following safety and pool tips is the best way to avoid accidents and injury and have a safe, happy summer.