Your Checklist for a Healthy Summer: Part One

Although summer doesn’t officially begin until June 22nd, school is already out at schools across the country — which means it’s time for fun in the sun! In today’s blog post, I want to provide you with your checklist for a healthy summer, covering water, beach, and camping safety.

Your checklist for a healthy summer begins with tips for water safety.

Did you know that an average of 11 people die every day from unintentional drowning? One in five of those individuals are children ages 14 or younger. Fortunately, you can learn important safety knowledge and skills that could ultimately save a life. Let’s start with the tips below:

  • Most importantly, learn how to swim! Classes are available for all ages and skill levels.
  • Learn first aid and CPR to prepare you in case of an emergency. 
  • Provide constant adult supervision in and around the water. If possible, swim in an area of a pool or beach with a lifeguard present. Additionally, designate a “water watcher” to keep a close eye on your group. Remember that a weak swimmer can drown in less than 60 seconds — the time it takes to answer a text or check your bag for sunscreen.
  • When possible, prevent unsupervised access to water. 

Swimming in larger bodies of water, like an ocean or lake, requires additional beach safety tips.

It’s important to reduce the added risks that come with swimming in open water. In addition to the water safety tips above, consider this list:

  • To start, all boaters, children, and inexperienced swimmers should wear a properly-fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Pay attention to the weather. At the first sign of lightning or thunder, immediately get out of the water. Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes after the last flash or rumble. 
  • Talk to lifeguards about local conditions, like rip currents or high winds, and obey all instructions for safe swimming.
  • If you did get caught in a rip current, stay calm. Swim parallel to shore, with the current, until the pull subsides. Then, turn and swim towards the shore. If you’re unable to swim, float or tread water until you’re out of the current. If needed, wave your arms and call for help.
  • Lastly, never dive in headfirst! Walk carefully into open waters and look out for aquatic animals and plants.

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about camping safety.

Before you head out, try to understand the level of ability for your group members as well as the environment of your destination. As you prepare for your camping trip, keep the tips below in mind:

  • Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit! You need to be prepared for insect bites, sprains, cuts, bruises, and other potential injuries. If you have time, take a First Aid and/or CPR course to learn how to handle broken bones, severe wounds, and more. 
  • The biggest threat that campers face is a fall, often as the result of poor decision-making or preparation. Plan ahead by getting a lay of the land. Be sure to share your plans and locations with a family member or close friend too.
  • In addition to a tent and sleeping bag, fill your bag with light-weight clothing; nutritious, protein-filled snacks; sunscreen; and plenty of water. Be sure to pack supplies for your pets too!

Contact Dr. Asha Tota-Maharaj, MD at Platinum Primary Care with all your healthcare needs. Come visit us at 2071 Dundee Drive in Winter Park.