We welcome a guest post from Michelle Bernardo, Editor-in-Chief for the wonderfully informative website, VictoriaMom.ca. Thank you, Michelle, for your contribution!
Is your family ready for summer?
Summer is almost here and with it comes summer adventures. If your family is anything like ours you will probably be spending many hours outdoors; hiking, swimming at the beach, camping, or exploring a park.
Most parents/caregivers remember to pack sun screen and a sun hat on a sunny day to protect their loved ones from the dangers of the sun, but what other summer hazards are there?
Ticks – Ticks are tiny bugs that live in tall grass and wooded areas. It is important to check your child’s scalp and clothing for ticks as well as your pets when leaving a wooded area. HealthLinkBC has great information about tick bites and disease.
Cuts/Scrapes – Cuts and scrapes happen, but it is important to be equipped with a first aid kit to prevent infection and provide comfort only a band aid and a kiss can bring.
Water – We are surrounded by water in Victoria BC and there are also many wonderful lakes. Inevitably you and your family will come in contact with water at some point during the summer, however, did you know “Drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years”? (Life Saving Society). Here are some Water Smart tips for parents of children under 5 and for children 5-12 to help ensure a safe and happy time at the beach.
Trips & Falls – Some trips and falls are avoidable by wearing proper footwear or equipment for the activity, inspecting playground equipment before letting children play at a park, and providing adequate supervision. Even with these precautions, however, trips and falls will still happen so it’s important to be prepared. Know the signs and symptoms of concussions and have ice and a towel ready for bumped knee or elbow.
Lost – No one wants to think about getting lost in the woods or having their loved ones get lost in the woods, but after volunteering with Search and Rescue for many years, I can tell you it happens. The most important thing you can do is to be prepared.
Make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Even if going on a short hike I always tell someone where I am going and when I expect to be back. I also bring a small backpack with some warmer clothes for me and my toddler (long wool socks can be great for both your feet or as gloves), water, extra snacks, head lamp, lighter, small first aid kit, pocket knife and a large orange garbage bag from Hug-a-Tree and Survive program from AdventureSmart. This program is taught by the Saanich Emergency Program in most Saanich elementary schools.
I also love this emergency kit for an adventurous youth. All that is missing is some snacks and water or a way to purify water.
Hope every one has a happy and safe summer adventure! Remember to plan ahead, be prepared, and have fun!
Active Mom in Victoria BC and Editor of VictoriaMom.ca