Longer days, lighter nights, and more worrying – yup it’s summer! There is something about this season that makes kids run faster and play harder, and like everything else, summer takes preparation too. Here is how you can help keep your children safe this season:
Be Sun Savvy
- Apply early and repeat: for children six months and older, sunscreens with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or greater reduces the intensity of UVR’s that cause sunburns. Apply 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every two hours, and after kid’s swim, sweat or dry off with a towel.
- Cover:dress your children in protective clothing and hats. Clothing can be an excellent barrier of ultraviolet rays. Many light weight sun protective styles cover the neck, elbows, and knees.
- Plan early morning play:Experts advise parents not to plan outdoor activities during peak sun hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) as much as possible, or make sure they get a break from the sun when needed.
- Beware of shade:many people think sitting in the shade is a simple sun compromise. Shade does provide relief from the heat, but it offers parents a false sense of security about UVR protection. You can still sunburn in shade, because light is scattered and reflected.
- Check the weather:look at your local weather forecast for the UV index reading when planning outdoor activities.
- Stay off cell phones: don’t allow yourself to get distracted when your kids are in the water.
- Know your skills: adults and caregivers should refresh their Infant Child CPR and First Aid certification each year, especially before summer, if there is a pool involved.
- Put a guard up: even kiddie pools in backyards should be drained after use. For houses that have pools, fences should be at least four feet high and surround the pool on all sides, with doors that close and lock by themselves.
Beware of Bugs
- Spray and repeat:parents or caregiver should spray kids exposed skin and clothing. Reapply whenever the spray gets washed off or the child starts getting bitten again.
- Check for allergic reactions:some kids react to insect bites more than others, if you child gets bitten and seems to have an allergic reaction to the bite, seek medical attention to see if you should give him or her an oral antihistamine or other medication.
- Check for ticks: Ticks thrive in warm, moist, woodsy areas, so ideally kids should wear long clothing to cover their skin to help prevent ticks from attaching themselves to your kids. Check your children and shower within two hours of coming indoors if they have been playing or have been in areas where ticks are common. Clothes are culprit too; ticks can come in on a t-shirt or pants. Place clothes in the dryer on high heat for at least two hours to kill any ticks. If your child develops any rash or fever after a tick bite, visit the doctor.
You may be surprised how much and when kids should drink liquids – To prevent dehydration, kids should drink 12 ounces of fluid 30 minutes before an activity begins and take regular fluid breaks during their activity. Tip: a child’s gulp equals an ounce of fluid, so your child should drink about 10 gulps for every 20 minutes of play. Signs of dehydration are; thirst, dry or sticky mouth, headache, muscle cramping, irritability, extreme fatigue, weakness, and decreased performance.
Head off Injuries
Helmet safety is extremely important. Kids should always wear a properly fitting helmet for the activity they are doing (biking, skateboarding, etc.). Why not take your child with you to pick out the helmet, so that they have a say in the colour and design? and it may sound silly but don’t forget to fasten the chin strap.