As summer continues to roll on, many of you are gearing up for a relaxing vacation. But do you take any steps to make sure your health and safety isn't left at home?
For the Christiansen family, no summer is complete without a trip to the family cabin on Lake Madison. But before the vacation begins, there's an essential list to make sure the family stays safe while having fun.
"Bug spray, sunscreen, water, drinks stuff like that so we try to keep the cabin packed up good and the car packed up pretty well too." Said Jess Christiansen.
It's the perfect summer getaway where the parents can relax and the kids can splash around. Jess says sunscreen is step one of everyday and when the kids want to swim a life jacket is always on.
"Having a life jacket on is going to save your life, but it doesn't supersede having adult supervision with your children being in the water." Said Dr. Jared Friedman, an emergency physician at Avera Mckennan.
That's a rule Jess and her husband Chris have also adopted. If one of them aren't on the dock, their kids aren't in the water.
"The life jackets offer a sense of safety but having them in your eyesight and knowing that they can't jump in, or hit their head, or get stuck in the water, or slip off. If they fall in the water and a life jackets slips off you want to be able to be there in a short amount of time." Said Christiansen.
Many people venture to water when the sun is shining, while others like to get out and ride on two wheels. Whether it be with a motor or pedals, anytime you jump on a bike this summer a helmet should be strapped on first.
"It's the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to wear a helmet and make sure that you have a properly fitted helmet making sure that the helmet isn't tipped back too far on your head. A bicycle helmet on your child for instance should ride about two finger breaths above their eye so that they know that when they fall it actually protects their skull and their brain rather than just having it more as an ornament on their head." Said Dr. Friedman.
Summer temperatures can easily push into the triple digits and make it hard to cool off. Whether it's on the bike path or out at the lake, people should be on the lookout for the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
"You may feel nauseated, you may start feeling lightheaded or dizzy, maybe feeling fatigued or even some muscle cramps as well and that's what the main symptoms of heat exhaustion are when it progresses beyond that is when we get to a heat stroke." Said Dr. Friedman.
It's very easy for young children to quickly be affected, so the more proactive you are, the more enjoyable your vacation is going to be.
"Water is always around and juice and Gatorade and whenever there is shade for the little ones we try to set them up and play where they're not in the direct sun and just keep an eye on them and if they don't look like they're feeling good we get them some water and get them in the shade or someplace cool." Said Christiansen.
Kids always seem to have an unlimited amount of energy, but in the summer swelter it's important to make sure you pay attention to your little ones. Because that same sunshine they're enjoying could very easily be what puts them in the hospital.
"It's hard to stop but it's a good idea to say let's take a break let's get some water sitting rest for a little bit before we go back out and have some fun." Said Christiansen.
If you have diabetes or are on certain medications you can be more susceptible to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. If you're unsure about anything it's best to talk with your doctor to make sure you're not at added risk. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.