By Dr. Natali Muehe, Pediatrician
Summertime is here. With summer comes, hot days, July fourth parades, ice-cold lemonade, and lots of outside playtime. Keep in mind these safety tips to make sure everyone stays safe.
Sunburn is easier to prevent than to treat. It’s best to avoid letting children stay out in the sun for several hours during the brightest part of the day. When they are out, cover up the skin as much as possible. To protect your child’s face and head, have them wear a hat. Use sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum” on the label and make sure it is SPF 15 or higher. Try to put on sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun and remember sunscreen must be reapplied regularly to be effective.
By the time your child is thirsty, dehydration is already occurring. Encourage children to drink water before going outside to play. Then hydrate with water every 20 minutes. If participating in vigorous sports or intense physical activity, a low-sugar sport drink may be an option. Keep in mind, water is best!
Signs of dehydration or overheating include stomach pain, muscle aches and headache, so be sure not to dismiss these complaints from your kids.
Be mindful of pool and lake safety
Playing in the water is one of summer’s favorite pastimes. But make sure:
- An adult is designated to watch while children (of all ages) are near water. This means the adult is not chatting with friends, texting or surfing the internet while “on duty.”
- Teach children to swim, but still watch the young ones, even if they can swim.
- Learn CPR.
- Teach your children basic pool safety rules that include no running around the pool and no jumping on others in the pool. Never swim without an adult watching.
- Always have your children wear life jackets when on a boat.
- When your kids are wearing life jackets, make sure they fit properly.
Know Bike Safety
Children of all ages should always wear a helmet when riding a bike. Make sure your child is wearing a properly fitting helmet, made for biking and not another sport. Kids should know to ride along with – not against – traffic and use hand signals. If your child is unable to use hand signals without swerving, he/she is not yet ready to ride a bike in the street.
Legacy Community Health cares about your kids. Let’s do everything we can to keep them safe this summer.