Watching out for young children and elderly relatives

Children and elderly people are particularly vulnerable to the hazards posed by the summer. Children playing in the streets and in playgrounds, and elderly people’s diminished ability to look after themselves may result in accidents that will spoil the summer holidays. EKAB advises parents to be especially careful when children are at home for longer periods of time and thus more likely to experiment with swallowing medicines, cosmetics or detergents. Playgrounds are equally dangerous as they are neither constructed nor maintained properly. Hard ground, cement projections in areas where children may suffer falls, rusty metal slides, broken swings and seesaws, and tottering wooden structures are some of the more dangerous aspects of children’s playgrounds. Residents should alert the municipal authorities; it’s the least they can do. Games in city or town squares and in the few open spaces still left should also be supervised. Children on bicycles should be provided with helmets, bright clothes, reflectors and bicycle lamps. Protection against the sun is vital at the seaside, since specialists warn that sunburn during childhood increases the chances of the appearance of melanoma in adult life. Before leaving the house for their summer holidays, people should make sure that elderly relatives, who are usually left behind, are properly provided for in terms of food and medicine, and that there is someone they can call for help in case of need. It is a good idea for people to have elderly relatives undergo medical tests as a precaution, whether they are going away with the family or staying behind at home.

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