Spotlight on Summer Safety Tips for All Ages

Posted by Kate Spears on

Join WCTE’s Get Ready To Learn host, Cynthia Putman and her special guest Brandon Smith, Assistant Director - Special Services Putnam County 911, Public Safety Coordinator Putnam County EMS as they discuss summer safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe for the remainder of the 2018 summer season. Putman and Smith who are both native Cookevillians also share stories about the growth of their hometown.

Summer brings a lot of fun and a lot of health and safety challenges. Take a few minutes to be safe and healthy. 

At the Lake or Pool: 

With the 4th of July holiday behind them Smith says that folks should still be vigilant about practicing safety measures. Smith suggest the following practices to keep you and your little ones out of harm’s way.

  • Use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets on the water.

  • Put on sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin from the sun.

  • Drink plenty of water even if you don’t feel thirsty.

  • Put on insect repellent.

  • Wash your hands often.

Swimming is a fun, active, and healthy way to spend leisure time. Take a few minutes to keep health and safety in mind to help prevent illness and injury.

  • Ask a buddy to join you when swimming so you don’t swim alone.
  • Choose swimming sites that have lifeguards.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before and during swimming.
  • Don’t swallow pool water.
  • Don't swim when you have diarrhea. Germs can spread in the water and make other people sick.
  • Take a shower and wash your child before swimming.
  • Take your kids on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes, or check diapers every 30-60 minutes.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside. Germs can spread in and around the pool.
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers before getting in the pool.
  • Watch children in and around water at all times.
  • Make sure to keep your ears as dry as possible to help prevent swimmer’s ear.

Be Sun Safe:

Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Kids don’t have to be at the pool, beach, or on vacation to get too much sun. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors.

Seek shade. UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday, so it’s best to plan indoor activities then. If this is not possible, seek shade under a tree, an umbrella, or a pop-up tent. Use these options to prevent sunburn, not to seek relief after it’s happened.

Cover up. When possible, long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts can provide protection from UV rays. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection. A wet T-shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one, and darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors. Some clothing certified under international standards comes with information on its ultraviolet protection factor.

Get a hat. Hats that shade the face, scalp, ears, and neck are easy to use and give great protection. Baseball caps are popular among kids, but they don’t protect their ears and neck. If your child chooses a cap, be sure to protect exposed areas with sunscreen.

Wear sunglasses. They protect your child’s eyes from UV rays, which can lead to cataracts later in life. Look for sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.

Apply sunscreen. Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Don’t forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet.

Watch out for BUGS!

  • Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Re-apply insect repellent as directed.
  • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.

Tips for Babies & Children

  • Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.

Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.

Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.

Keep Cool When Its Hot: 

Now is the time to prepare for the high temperatures that kill hundreds of people every year. Extreme heat causes more than 600 deaths each year. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet many people still die from extreme heat every year.

Take measures to stay cool, remain hydrated, and keep informed. Getting too hot can make you sick. You can become ill from the heat if your body can’t compensate for it and properly cool you off. The main things affecting your body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are:

  • High humidity. When the humidity is high, sweat won’t evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.

  • Personal factors. Age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.

  • People age 65 and older are at high risk for heat-related illnesses.

  • People age 65 and older are at high risk for heat-related illnesses.

Those who are at highest risk include people 65 and older, children younger than two, and people with chronic diseases or mental illness.  Closely monitor people who depend on you for their care and ask these questions:

  • Are they drinking enough water?
  • Do they have access to air conditioning?
  • Do they need help keeping cool?

Staying Safe in the Car: 

The simple act of buckling up is the best way to save lives and reduce injuries from crashes. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 5 and 34.Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years. Using seat belts reduces serious injuries and deaths in crashes by about 50%. Take a minute to make sure you and your passengers are buckled up for safety.

  • Buckle your seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.

  • Make sure children are properly buckled up in a seat belt, booster seat, or car seat, whichever is appropriate for their age, height, and weight.

  • Make sure all passengers are buckled in before driving.

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Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM.

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WCTE’s Educational Team can customize workshops or professional development trainings for your group or organization. For workshop information, or to inquire about scheduling a workshop, call 921-528-2222 x. 227 or email us.

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