CareNow® - June 08, 2021

Summer safety tips were once limited to things like protecting your children from the sun at the pool, practicing fire safety when hanging out by the bonfire or being mindful of heat exhaustion, but the COVID-19 pandemic has added to those responsibilities.

Although certain summer activities may look different this year, keeping your family safe can be accomplished by practicing a few of these additional tips. We’re taking a look at basic COVID-19 safety practices that you should enforce this summer.

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Maintain Social Distancing

Although you may find yourself spending more time outdoors this summer, it is extremely important to continue practicing social distancing when possible. This includes maintaining at least six feet of distance between people outside of your immediate household and avoiding contact with anyone who may be sick.

If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should quarantine until a diagnosis can be confirmed.

Wear Appropriate Facial Coverings

It is best to practice social distancing at all times, but at certain times maintaining that distance may not be possible. Because of that, cloth facial coverings should be worn at all times for anyone over the age of three.

If you are using a disposable mask, be sure to throw it away after using. Reusable masks should be washed frequently to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus. Be sure to follow local and state regulations regarding masks at all times.

Practice Proper Personal Hygiene

Because the COVID-19 virus commonly spreads via water vapor and contact with contaminated surfaces, it is important to practice enhanced personal hygiene practices.

This includes frequent handwashing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) and rub until your hands are dry. Hand sanitizers should only be used when soap and water is not available.

Limit Particulate Spread

Practicing proper respiratory etiquette by covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue. After sneezing, be sure to throw used tissues in the trash. If you don't have a tissue, it is better to cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.

If you do sneeze into your hands, be sure to wash immediately and do not touch any surfaces before doing so.

Keep a Clean Home

Maintaining a clean home is especially important due to the amount of time you spend there. To protect yourself and family, be sure to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces between uses as much as possible.

Door knobs, countertops, remote controls and toilets should be an area of focus any time you’re cleaning.

Smart Water Safety

Although this is always a part of your summer routine, the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional water safety practices to keep in mind. It is important to follow the guidelines of state and local officials at all times. If you choose to swim in a public location, be sure to maintain social distance as you move in and out of the water.

Social distancing at the pool can prove difficult for children who want to play with others, so it’s a good idea to discuss the concept of distancing with your child. Additional tips for water safety during Covid include:

Wear face coverings

When not in the water it is still necessary to wear facial coverings. This can be difficult as you transition in and out of the water. Be sure to keep a mask in a bag at the edge of the pool or designate someone to bring you one as you exit the water.

Masks should not be worn in the water as it may be difficult to breathe.

Don’t share water equipment

For children, it is a good idea to remind them to not share items commonly brought to the pool. These include things like goggles, nose clips, snorkels or other pool toys. After a day at the pool, be sure to clean and disinfect anything that may have come into contact with the water.

Consider limiting swimming to the home

Even if you take the proper precautions, completely eliminating risk of infection at a public pool is impossible. Consider purchasing a kiddie or inflatable pool and limit swimming to an at-home activity.

Backyard swimming can be a great way to have fun, but be sure an adult is always present to provide constant supervision. Follow all directions and warnings included with the pool you purchase.

Limit usage of public facilities

If you are going to venture out and use a public pool, consider thinking ahead to limit your exposure to public facilities. Be sure to bring your own water and use the restroom prior to visiting the pool. Practice all COVID-19 safety tips if you do have to enter public areas.

Outdoor Park or Workout Safety

Outdoor activities have been in high demand since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Spending time outdoors is a great way to decompress while maintaining social distance. Although spending time outside offers a great escape to the potential isolation happening at home, there are a few rules to keep in mind as you venture outside this summer.

Avoid high-contact activities with non-household members

If you are going to perform activities outdoors, it is important to avoid sports that involve physical contact such as basketball, football, soccer or wrestling; instead focus on lower-contact sports or activities that can be done safely.

Stick to low-contact sports and activities

Although you may not think about them immediately, there are plenty of sports and activities that can be done outdoors while maintaining social distancing. These sports include things like tennis, golf, hiking, biking and swimming.

While there may not be a way to guarantee 100% safety during these activities, when performed outdoors with proper precautions, they are generally considered safe.

Limit exposure by cleaning often

While it is best to limit contact with public surfaces, if you are going to come into contact with one, be sure to clean it first. If you are thinking about playing a sport that requires equipment, be sure to bring your own from home.

If an equipment item comes into contact with a person outside your immediate household, you should be sure to disinfect the equipment between each use.

Adapt your social activities to be safe during COVID-19

Humans are social creatures, and if executed properly, outdoor social events can be relatively safe. If you have decided to attend a social event, wearing a mask at all times is still recommended. Even if you know the people you are around, if they are not in your immediate household, practicing proper COVID-19 protocols is important.

If you know the area you will be in is crowded, consider not attending. Before you attend an event, be sure to think ahead and pack items like masks, tissues, and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, consider visiting Your local CareNow®. We are open seven days a week and stay open late to provide care when you need it the most.

Be sure to utilize the Web Check-In® feature before your visit to avoid the waiting room!

If you do make an appointment with CareNow®, be sure to take advantage of our Web Check-In® feature so you can avoid waiting in the lobby beforehand.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.