What You Need to Know
- For summertime activities, taking basic COVID-19 safety precautions (mask wearing, physical distancing and hand hygiene) when you are in public, especially indoors, gives you and your kids the best chance of staying safe until everyone in your family is fully vaccinated.
- According to the American Cancer Society, about 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. Wearing sunscreen, properly and consistently, can lower your risk.
- Overuse injuries commonly affect athletes, and may be prevented by warming up before exercise, using proper technique and avoiding overexertion.
- Wearing high-level UVA/UVB protective sunglasses can help shield your eyes from overexposure to ultraviolet light, which is associated with development of cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygium (or surfer’s eye, an abnormal growth on the white of the eye) and photokeratitis (sunburned eyes).
- Take care to protect your family from insect bites, including ticks, which can spread Lyme disease. If you spend time outdoors, check yourself frequently for ticks, particularly behind your knees, underarms, belly button and anywhere clothing presses on the skin.
Summertime COVID-19 Safety Precautions
Millions of Americans travel abroad each year. Safety should be a prime consideration for families traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially if all family members have not yet been vaccinated, including children under 12.
When you’re taking a family vacation that includes unvaccinated kids, and you opt for a road trip over public transportation, you are safer when you take the 3 safety steps (masks, distancing, hand hygiene) at rest stops.
Your best bet is staying at a house or cabin with one family or “bubble” where everyone’s healthy and everyone 12 and up is vaccinated. The risk goes up when you stay at hotels or motels with common areas (lobbies, game rooms, indoor pools) where people from different locations mingle.
What to avoid: Vacation homes with guests from multiple households and from different areas unless everyone is fully vaccinated.
While the coronavirus pandemic continues, you and your kids are safest at outdoor pools and beaches when you and your household can stay at least six feet apart from other children and families. Make sure everyone masks up when in restrooms and changing areas and washes or sanitizes their hands carefully.
COVID-19 can’t spread through water, but gatherings in a crowded area around a pool may increase risk of COVID transmission if people are not wearing masks.
What to avoid: Indoor pools and any indoor places where people from different households are gathering without masks and physical distancing.
According to the CDC, injuries from motor vehicle crashes pose the greatest risk of injury to international travelers.
Visit the Safety While Traveling Abroad page for tips on motor vehicle safety, how to avoid swimming, violence and animal-associated hazards for more information.
Summer Skin Safety
One of the last things you’re thinking about when you’re relaxing on the beach is the possibility of developing skin cancer later in life. But how you care for your skin — and your children’s — now may make a big difference down the road. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world, accounting for almost half of cancer cases.
The best ways to protect your skin during the summer include:
- Staying out of the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Applying broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more.
- Avoiding tanning beds.
Whether your family is spending time in the pool, at the beach or on a boat this summer, you should be aware of the proper safety precautions to follow. Notably, parents of young children should:
- Never leave your child unsupervised near water at or in the home, or around any body of water, including a swimming pool. Very young children can tumble headfirst into buckets, ice chests, tubs, toilets and other containers of water.
- Make sure any boating activities include the proper flotation devices, like U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, in case of an emergency.
- Consider learning CPR, especially if your child regularly participates in water activities.
Fireworks injuries cause approximately 10,000 visits to the emergency room each year, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. As families and communities make plans for fireworks this summer, the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins is joining the American Academy of Ophthalmology in shining a light on fireworks safety.
To help prevent these injuries, we’re debunking four myths on consumer fireworks use.