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  • Sasha Anand

Summer Safety Tips: Enjoying the sun, with no hospital runs

By Caroline Percival

For the vast majority of kids, the word “summer” is nearly equivalent to the word “freedom”. It is a season dreamt about by millions of children worldwide, all of them waiting for their time of liberation and release. During these months of sticky ice cream and refreshing swimming pools, there will be no homework, no quizzes, and no tests. It is universally known as a chance to explore, to try new things, and to be adventurous.

However, there are some risks during summer that are incredibly important to take note of and pay attention to. 

First and foremost, sunscreen is required for every outdoor activity. Although this may sound like common knowledge, very few people incorporate this into their daily routine. According to the Archives of Dermatological Research, only 13.5% of adults wear sunscreen daily, an astonishingly low number considering that one in every five Americans is predicted to develop skin cancer before the age of 70. Forming the habit of using sunscreen is vital, especially from a young age. Not only does it reduce the risk of sunburns, but daily use will halve the chances of getting melanoma later in life. It is so easy to put on a coat of sunscreen every day, so I urge everyone, especially in a season with plenty of time outdoors, to take five minutes and save themselves plenty of pain and money down the road. 

Another potential danger is posed by a small insect that we often, metaphorically and literally, brush off. Although they are typically considered a pest or nuisance, mosquitoes can be deadly if carrying diseases. They can be found anywhere, especially in areas with standing water for them to breed in. While they cannot be completely deterred, there are actions that everyone can take to prevent being bitten, such as wearing bug spray and making sure there are no areas on their property that water can collect. Bug bites can become life-threatening very quickly, and care should be taken to prevent unnecessary illness.

One of the biggest and commonly known hazards of summer is drowning. Featured in many books and movies, drowning is a mainstream problem that is still a major issue today. There are an estimated 320,000 deaths worldwide every year, with an average of 10 per day in the United States alone. It only takes 40 seconds for an adult to drown and 20 for a child, so it is extremely important to pay attention and be hypervigilant around water. Drowning is silent and can happen to anyone, no matter how strong a swimmer they may be. Never swim alone, and make sure to have someone skilled in first aid nearby. CPR goes a long way in reducing brain injury, so it would be ideal for everyone to learn first going into these long summer months. 

Summer is a fun-filled season with some distinct risks to be aware of. It is necessary to be careful and use discretion in difficult situations, relying on common sense above all else. Sunburns and bug bites are easily preventable, as well as more serious issues like drowning. It is important to have fun, but always remember, safety first!


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