Put away the books and open up the umbrellas! Summer is here, and Health Net hopes there are many occasions for you to round up the family, hit the beach, gather near a grill and take a dip in the pool.
Whether children are out for a traditional summer break or just a few weeks from year-round school, their disposition is bound to be sunny these next several weeks. After all, what kid doesn’t love Popsicles, night swimming, fireworks, staying up late and hanging with cousins? Summer time equals a lot more freedom than during the school year. To that, we say, let it shine!
So when you’re on vacation, we’re encouraging you to dive into summer prepared with the latest health news and happenings that’ll help keep you – and your family – safe and secure. Sure, vacations are a time to unwind and relax, but it’s crucial to keep your guard up when it comes to kids and safety. Before you take a trip, consider these tips.
- Get covered: Just as important as packing your clothes is taking your health insurance card with you. If you’re heading out of the country, call your carrier beforehand to see if you’ll be covered for illness or accident. Health Net members can visit our website for more information.
- Be safe around water: Many hotels pools have lifeguards, but that doesn’t mean you can turn your attention elsewhere. Read the signs carefully when you’re near any body of water, and insist that your children obey the rules posted. Children should also take regular breaks from swimming, so they don’t get tired.
- Have a plan: Do your children know where to go or what to do in case they’re lost? Roleplay expectations of what should happen if they’re accidentally separated from you. Remember, you’re now all in an unfamiliar place, so this is probably going to change a bit from what they would do at home. Also, refrain from letting children wander alone at a resort – no matter how secure you feel on the premises.
- Wear sunscreen: There’s nothing worse than getting a sunburn on your first day of vacation. Don’t risk being miserable! Make sure your children – and you – are slathered in broad spectrum, SPF 30 or higher sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. The best ones are water – and sweat – resistant.
- Keep your eyes safe: June is Cataract Awareness Month, so there’s no better time to care for your eyesight. Choose sunglasses for the whole family that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Look for a label that says the glasses meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements. And, be wary of purchasing sunglasses from a street vendor, which may not meet these standards. It’s also a good idea for kids to wear hats to protect the scalp from sunburn.
- Prepare for bug bites and swimmer’s ear: And a whole host of other things, like poison ivy, skin cuts and upset stomach. Bring a travel-size first-aid kit for starters, but also have on hand things like bug repellent, tummy relief medicines and anti-itch cream. If your child has a medical history of acute swimmer’s ear, for example, remember to bring ear plugs and ear drops in case of infection.
Experiencing new sights and adventures together, whether you’re on a two-week extravaganza or a weekend jaunt, is one of the best parts of summer vacation. Be safe and see where your summer plans take you. Life will be waiting when you return, so enjoy!