Summer Safety- from Mauka to Makai

As we welcome summer, let’s make a pact to get outside more!

Get outside, get healthy!
The health benefits of getting outside and being active for both adults and children are no secret. In fact, studies have shown that just being outside in itself can improve your physical and mental health including helping to decrease stress, lower blood pressure, and help with depression and anxiety. And with the number of hours parents and their children spend using electronics increasing rapidly, it is even more important to make going outside a priority for families this summer.

Lucky we live Maui.
Luckily for us Maui families, there are plenty of free or low-cost outdoor activities to keep us busy during the spring and summer breaks. From a relaxing hike on the slopes of Haleakala at Poli Poli State Park, to a refreshing swim in the clear blue waters of Kaanapali, or a leisurely bike ride in your favorite backyard park, people travel across oceans just to experience the beautiful outdoors that we call home.

Safety First
School breaks and extended holidays are meant to be fun and carefree. Putting safety first helps ensure you make the most out of your well-deserved break. Here are a few quick tips to follow from mauka (mountain/inland) to makai (ocean):

Hiking Safety

  • Research the hike area including terrain, trail length, and possible weather conditions.
  • Pack proper equipment including appropriate shoes, a first aid kit, flashlight, sunscreen, and lots of water.
  • Hike in a group and keep track of those in your party. Always let someone know where you will be hiking and how long you expect to be gone.

Ocean Safety

  • Never turn your back on the ocean.
  • Never swim alone. Swimming in numbers dramatically reduces the risk of injury and drowning.
  • Pay attention to signage on the beach for dangerous conditions.
  • Know your limits. When in doubt, don’t go out.
  • Swim only in safe lifeguarded areas. No one can anticipate changing ocean currents, rip currents, sudden storms, or other hidden dangers.
  • Wear sunscreen, and reapply!
Helmet Safety Tips from Kula Hospital Emergency Department Manager, Rachel Corah: Always wear a helmet when riding a bike, skateboard or skates, and make sure it fits correctly!

Here is how you know your helmet fits right:
The helmet should sit level on your head and low on your forehead – one or two finger widths above your eyebrows. Center the buckle under the chin. Adjust the side straps to form a “Y“ shape slightly under the ears. One finger should fit between the chin and chinstrap. Shake your head. If the fit is right, your helmet will stay on tight. Kula Hospital provides free keiki helmets and helmet fittings at various community events throughout the year. Visit mauihealthsystem.org for more information.

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