Follow these safety and first-aid tips and avoid calling 911 later.
Rules to Live By continued...
It's not just heat that makes summer fun problematic, she says.
"Cold is big problem when kids are out swimming and have been in the water
so long that their lips are blue, they are shivering, and their body
temperature has dropped." Make them warm back up to 98.6 before they go
back in, no matter how much they plead. "All kids want to do is have fun,
so a parent has to be a parental and make sure that they warm up."
Children pose a special challenge during the summer, says
Denise Salerno, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at Temple University
No matter what the potential peril is, "the key is being
prepared. Travel with a little first aid kit and make sure you have it where
it's readily available to save trips to the ER," she says.
"The biggest warning that a kid is getting overheated is if
they are complaining and have started to sweat," she says. Remember that
"if it gets to an extreme, they don't sweat. If a child complains of
lightheadedness, take them out of the game."
To nip heat stroke in the bud, "take them into a cool place
and make sure they are hydrated with water or a sports drink."
With kids around water, you always worry about drowning.
"Never leave kids unattended around any water, and make sure there's adult
supervision from an adult who knows how to swim," Salerno says.
Most of us probably recall being told that you can drown if you
go into the water too soon after eating. The truth is that "when you are
digesting food, there's less blood flow in your body and this takes away from
strength, so if you had to really use your strength for undertow, you may have
a problem," Leahy says. The best bet is to wait a half an hour after you
eat before getting back in the water.
What's a summer without a barbecue? To make sure that your meal goes off
without an emergency trip to the restroom or the ER, make sure that mayonnaise
and salads with mayonnaise stay out of the sun. "If these food items are
brought from refrigerator directly to table, help yourself, but don't let them
sit out more than 15 minutes in the hot sun," Leahy says. "Hamburgers
should be cooked thoroughly and not be pink inside."
Where the Wild Things Are
"An ounce of prevention is really important when it comes
to avoiding bug bites this summer," says toxicologist Stephen Pennisi, PhD,
a.k.a. "Dr. Itch" and director of the Lanacane Itch Information Center
in White Plains, N.Y.
"We work very hard during the day and want to enjoy our
time off, and there is nothing worse then having to stop in the middle of a
beach barbecue and take someone to the ER," he says.