Safe Summer Hints
Well, the weather is warming up and summertime is near so I guess that it is time for the top ten tips for a safe and fun summer.
- Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. An ounce of sunscreen is worth a gallon of aloe! Take the time to apply sunscreen remembering to reapply it after several dips in the water. Don’t believe those claims that the sunscreen can withstand long term water exposure. Just one second degree sunburn-one that causes blisters-before the age of 10 years old can increase the likelihood of skin cancer 300-fold. Also, a T-shirt only has the equivalent of an SPF=3-4. If your child does get a burn use lots of cool water and contact your pediatrician for Benadryl dosing. This will help take the redness and sting out of the sunburn.
- Your eyes can get sunburned too! Cheap sunglasses, although often with very cute designs can hurt eyes more than help. Make sure sunglasses state that they block 100% of UVA and UVB light. If not, then the dark shades allow the pupil of the eye to open wider, thereby allowing more UV light to focus on the retina-the portion of the eye needed for seeing-giving it a burn as well.
- Wear hats. The larger the brim the better. By wearing a hat you further reduce the amount of light striking the face and the eyes decreasing total exposure.
- Remember to drink. LOTS! Little bodies lose water 2-4 times faster than adults. Have lots of cool water, popsicles, juice bars and fruit. Bring them in the house or under some shade for 10-15 minutes every hour or s to help cool down the core body temperature. This will help keep small bodies active and well hydrated reducing symptoms of dehydration such as elevated temperature, fatigue, stomach cramps, dizziness and irritability.
- Water can be dangerous, though. Never leave a child unattended near a pool or any standing water (buckets, trashcans, etc.) Children under the age of 12 years old, no matter how long they may have taken swimming lessons, should never be left alone in the pool for any length of time. Remember, most accidental drowning occurs in the child’s own pool with the gate closed.
- If you don't know what it is, don't touch it! Touching a plant or insect you cannot identify may lead to some itchy or painful consequences. Again, if you do not remember this lesson, you have a friend in Benadryl. Beware of signs of severe allergic reactions. These include swollen lips, eyes or face, difficulty breathing, as well as dizziness, erratic behavior and extreme agitation.
- Always use the appropriate safety equipment, such as bike helmets, rollerblade pads and helmets, soccer pads, etc, for the activity. Always check your equipment before using it to guarantee that it is in good working condition.
- Play it safe around barbecues and power equipment. Children are naturally curious and always want to help. However, these types o equipment were not meant for little hands. When using power tools, make sure the children are far away and not in the way of where debris may be scattered. When using the grill, do not let it go unattended if children are around, Also, after grilling, do not put hot grates on the ground. They can easily be stepped upon, causing severe burns to the feet which may cause a permanent disability.
- At the end of the day, check the kids over from head and hair to toe. Lyme disease, caused by a bacterium in the intestine of the Deer Tick, is a very real disease and also a very treatable disease. Prevention is still the best treatment. To contract the disease the deer tick must be feeding with its mouthparts buried under the skin for at least 24-48 hours. The tick is about the size of a pencil lead or approximately the size of the lower case letter "o" in this article. If you suspect that your child may have had a tick on him or her for greater than 48 hours, contact the office for advice and, if necessary, an appropriate evaluation.
- Most importantly, Have Fun!! Summer is a wonderful time for families to be outside together-gardening, playing, biking, swimming and just being active. Enjoy exploring with your children and seeing the world through their eyes. Have a safe and happy summer.