Summertime usually involves water recreation, which can be a source of great family fun. It also poses some dangers.
So it is important to teach your children water safety rules, to help protect them when boating, swimming, or enjoying other water sports.
First, have children learn to swim, but never alone — use the buddy system.
They should know the items that can be used to help save someone in trouble — a rope, an oar, a branch, or a life preserver, for example.
They should never swim where there is no lifeguard on duty. When on a boat, they should always wear a life jacket and stay seated.
Another great danger associated with water sports has to do with the sun. Many people believe that a tan looks healthy, but prolonged exposure to the summer sun can be very dangerous.
In fact, excessive sun exposure during the first 20 years of life is a key risk factor for all skin cancer. And young children are especially vulnerable.
To help protect your children, keep infants up to six months old out of the sun or shaded from it. For young children, use sunscreen liberally, at least 30 minutes before exposure, and reapply often.
Use extra protection in areas with reflective surfaces such as water.
And beware: A cloud cover only partially reduces radiation. The sun won’t feel warm until it is already too late.
With the right precautions, summer can be a time of fun and enjoyment for all ages.