Summer is a time for lazy days, family outings, and exciting vacations, but all those activities and warmer temperatures can bring new risks for children as well.
Sunburns can be painful and unprotected exposure over time may pose longer term health risks. Make sure children with you have it applied as well. Apply sunscreen liberally and rub in completely 15-30 minutes before heading outside, and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming.
In order to remember to apply sunscreen daily, keep bottles by the front door and in your car. Avoid being outside during the hottest parts of the day; save errands and outings for mornings or evenings.
Preventing heat exhaustion and heatstroke:
Make sure kids stay well-hydrated, as excessive loss of water and salt in the body can lead to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Learn to recognize the warning signs: sweating, pale skin, skin that is cool to the touch, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and muscle cramps. If you suspect heat exhaustion or heatstroke, contact your child’s pediatrician or emergency department.
Never leave children in a parked car. Even with the windows cracked, temperatures inside can rise rapidly, increasing the risk for heat-related illness.
According to the CDC, children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning risk of any age group, and most occur in home swimming pools. To avoid these tragedies, never let children swim or play by a pool, lake or beach unattended by an adult such as a parent or lifeguard or other trusted adult who can swim. Pay attention to warning signs that may indicate that certain conditions make it unsafe to swim in a given area. In addition, children should always wear appropriate flotation devices on boats and other water outings.
One of the biggest misperceptions about water safety is that parents will be able to hear if their child is in distress. Always designate an adult to watch children around water, even when several adults are present.
Falls from bikes, playground equipment, and windows are more common in the summer months. Make sure children always wear appropriate protective gear while bike-riding or participating in other sports, and are supervised in streets or other busy areas. Check to make sure that playground equipment is sturdy, well-maintained, and situated on soft surfaces like woodchips or sand. Install home safety devices should as stair gates and guard rails for windows above ground level.