Summer is one of the most active and fun times for families. It offers a wide range of opportunities from barbecues in the backyard to diving in the ocean. Parents and children are still vulnerable to injuries even in the safest environments. Families need to be prepared for five potential emergencies in the summer.
Every family needs to be prepared for physical injuries during the summer. Kids and adults who are outside playing could easily fall. Injuries while playing games are also common. These physical injuries could include cuts, sprains and potentially broken bones. Parents should keep a first aid kit nearby at all times that includes bandages, antibiotic ointments and sterile pads. Families on vacation should know where the nearest hospital or clinic is located in the area.
Summertime activities provide a number of situations where choking could occur in adults and children. Children who are playing outside with new toys could try to swallow a small broken part. Children could also start to choke on food during a barbecue or an outdoor party. Supervision is one of the only ways to reduce the risk of choking. Parents in the medical field who have infants will want to complete a neonatal resuscitation program (NRP) if it was not already required by the employer. An NPR Certification means a parent understands the correct ways to resuscitate a newborn if the baby has stopped breathing. It also teaches the correct use for medications if an emergency occurs involving an infant.
Buying wetsuits and going on a unique scuba diving or snorkeling expedition is a memorable experience for many families. Families who do go diving together must be prepared for emergencies such as drowning. Training and understand all diving safety procedures can help to prevent drowning. Having the proper skills or people with the family who know how to react could save the life of a person who has started to drown. Medical professionals should have Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) skills. ACLS Classes teach healthcare professionals how to diagnose and treat a person who has stopped breathing or a person whose heart has stopped. It is specifically focused on emergency situations. Having a person with ACLS training nearby could save the life of a child or adult.
The summer is the time when families go outside to barbecue. It is also a time when some families camp outdoors around a fire. Burns could occur whenever the family is around a fire or another high heat source. Serious burns from a fire or hot coals could cause severe pain, infections and shock. Even minor burns or blisters could become infected while outdoors. Families should learn proper identification and treatment of all categories of burns. A first aid kit with sterile bandages and antibiotics is also essential.
Poisoning occurs primarily in children during the summer. Small children might not understand that lotions or ointments at the beach are not edible. Children could also get into prescription drugs bottles or even chemicals for cleaning a pool or grill. Parents should always have the phone number for the local poison control center available during the summer. Exactly how to handle different situations will vary greatly depending on what was ingested.