This year June 20 is the official first day of summer.
Depending on how the mandated quarantine to help flatten the curve and minimize overwhelming the healthcare system from COVID-19 in the US goes, before we know it pools will be open, boats will be out on the lake, and people will be flocking to the beaches. In fact some pools and beaches are already open!
This summer will feel a little different, especially for those living in areas where schools have been closed. It just doesn’t feel like summer break when the kids have already been home for months. Regardless, the summer months are busy with activity and there is an infinite list of outdoor activities for everyone.
It is especially important to plan, and stay safe!
Most likely social distancing will still be needed, but to what degree remains to be seen. So keep that in mind.
Given the limited travel options we currently have, most people will be vacationing locally. Before you head to the beach or venture on a hike with the family, make sure you’re prepared for these beautiful locations by packing the proper gear. Because while these summertime paradises are picturesque playgrounds, accidents happen during the summer months, which means you need to prepare your family accordingly.
Here are a few items you may need in order to be prepared for the summer.
First aid kit
Falls, scrapes and spills are not only possible but likely if you plan to spend a lot of time outside, especially if you have young children.
Be prepared for minor injuries by bringing a first aid kit equipped with some basics like band-aids, gauze, sterile wipes and more. A first aid kit can be easily made if you buy the necessary things individually as we have found the pre packaged “first aid” kits to be relatively overpriced for what you get.
The right shoes
It is important to protect your feet. Depending on the activity, for example if you are going hiking, probably the most important hiking equipment you will need are the shoes. Wearing shoes with plenty of cushioning and support helps prevent soreness and injury and can improve your traction so that you avoid falls.
Mosquitoes and ticks don’t just lead to uncomfortable itching, they can also be the source of a host of serious illnesses, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The risk of tick exposure is highest if you’re going to be walking through tall grass. So before you hit the trails, make sure everyone has been sprayed thoroughly. Long, layered clothing can also help minimize your amount of exposed skin.
Take along an antihistamine
A bug bite can be annoying, you can help relieve the swelling and itching associated with it by using an antihistamine. Just keep in mind that a traditional antihistamine may cause drowsiness so you may want to consider a non-drowsy one for the daytime and seasonal allergies. This is a medication and you should first consult with your doctor before taking any medications.
Heading to the beach?
Here are a few things you need in order to be prepared.
Nothing can ruin a beach trip like a nasty sunburn. And sun exposure without sunscreen increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
Who should use sunscreen? Basically everyone! Literally anyone, regardless of your skin tone can develop skin cancer. Plan on using a broad spectrum sunblock that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Ideally, depending on what activity you are doing you want the sun block to be water/sweat resistant and have an SPF of at least 30. Apply it 15 minutes prior to sun exposure for maximum benefit. Don’t forget to apply sunblock to the top of your head (if you are bald), your neck, ears, top of your feet and the back of your hands. You should plan on reapplying sunblock every couple of hours.
Up to 60% of the body is water. It’s easy to get dehydrated after a few hours under the summer sun. Bring plenty of water to keep you and the kids hydrated.
If you or your family is embarking on other summertime adventures like a trip to an amusement park (assuming they are open), a day at the lake, or a family bike ride be sure to have these items on hand.
A helmet is the best way to reduce the risk of a serious traumatic head injury. Never go for a bike (or skate board etc.) ride without a helmet. Be sure to pick a helmet that is comfortable and fits correctly for every member of your family.
And most importantly, in the era of COVID, do your best to maintain social distancing, wash hands often and try to minimize touching your face.
You want your summer days to be spent outside, enjoying the nice weather. Hopefully this will help prevent a trip to the ER.
Be safe and enjoy your summer!