Summer is just around the corner and if you’re a kid that only means one thing – summer vacation! As parents, summer means more time spent with the family – on vacations, camping trips, swimming pools, beach trips and more. Despite the fun that comes with the sunny weather, parents should keep in mind the safety of their children during outdoors activities, especially in the summertime. Keeping your kids safe and healthy while they enjoy summer fun is easy to do with a few precautions in place.
Protect Against Sunburns
It’s nice to get out and get some sun, but too much sun can be harmful for young children. Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors. To avoid sunburns:
- Cover up. Clothing that covers your child’s skin helps protect against UV rays.
- Use sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 and UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) protection every time your child goes outside.
Stay Hydrated and Cool
All those summer activities in the hot summer sun can cause heat exhaustion. This can appear as fatigue, extreme thirst, muscle cramping, and in extreme cases, heatstroke –which can potentially be fatal. There are a number of ways to prevent this from happening to your child:
- Keep them hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- Stay cool with cool showers or baths.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully. Avoid outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day and focus on the morning and evening hours.
- Dress them in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
Swimming Safety Practices
Along with being a great source of exercise, swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States and the most popular recreational activity for children and teens. Sadly, each year, many young children drown in swimming pools, other bodies of water, and standing water around the home. When having children in or around water, it is important to follow a few guidelines:
- Always supervise children when in or around water.
- Take young children on bathroom breaks to prevent exposing germs to other children in water.
- Teach kids how to swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning.
- Choose a flotation device for your child, like a child-size life vest.
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Your CPR skills could save your child’s life.
Avoid Bug Bites and Stings
The hot and humid weather in the summer usually means bug are unavoidable. Biting insects include mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, and biting flies. Stinging insects include bees, hornets, and wasps. Some tips to prevent your child from being bitten or stung include:
- Choose an insect repellant for children. Read the label and follow all directions and precautions. Also, always assist and supervise children when applying insect repellents on their own.
- Bees are attracted to flowers so don’t put fragrances or floral-patterned clothing on kids.
- When outside, cover children with lightweight clothing and use mosquito netting over strollers and infant seats.
Play Safe this Summer
Playgrounds are a common source of injury for children during the summer. Falls, scrapes, and cuts can occur anytime so it is important to supervise young children at all times when outdoors.
Need more information about keeping your child safe this summer, or need to book an appointment? Schedule an appointment with Family First Pediatrics Online or call at 407-335-4760 to ensure your child has a safe and healthy summer!