Summer is here, an enjoyable time for families, full of adventure, sun and outside activities. Unfortunately, as exciting as it may be, summer also raises the risk for injuries and illnesses.
Here are some seasonal tips for parents, from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), to help your
child stay safe and healthy this summer:
1. Swimming. Drowning is a leading cause of childhood unintentional death and injury. Unfortunately, swimming lessons for infants and toddlers do not protect them from drowning, this is because until children are > 4 years old they generally are not developmentally ready for formal swimming lessons. Whenever your infant or toddler is around water, an adult should be within arm’s length. No matter the age of your child, an adult should be present to prevent drowning. It is recommended that the supervising adult know CPR and how to swim.
2. Insect Bites. In order to help prevent insect bites, it is recommended that children do not use scented soaps, perfumes or hairsprays. Also, avoid areas with stagnant water, uncovered food and gardens. 10 – 30% DEET containing insect repellant is recommended in children > 2 months of age and should be reapplied every two to five hours respectively. If your child gets bit and develops symptoms of anaphylaxis including, but not limited to, rash, swelling, shortness of breath, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, call 911.
3. Sun Exposure. Everyone is at risk for a sunburn but most sun damage occurs in childhood. For all ages, the best form of protection against harmful UV radiation is covering up with cool cotton clothing, a wide brimmed hat and avoiding sun exposure during peak hours (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.). Sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 – 50 is advised to be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure, reapplied every 2 hours and right after swimming or sweating.
4. Biking. Of utmost importance is that children of all ages should wear a properly fitting helmet at all times while biking. Parents should lead by example and wear a helmet as well (your child will learn from you). When purchasing a helmet, ensure it meets consumer product safety commission standards (CPSC), which will be indicated by a label or sticker. A helmet should be level on the head, covering the forehead, and the strap should be securely fastened with about two fingers able to fit between the chin and strap.
Have a wonderful and safe summer!