It’s summer! Time to get outside and enjoy the season. Read on for our seven summer safety tips.
1. Protect Kids’ Skin
Skin protection during childhood is important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just one sunburn in childhood or adolescence can increase the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma or melanoma as an adult. More than half of a person’s lifetime UV exposure occurs during childhood. Less than one-third of children in the U.S. practice effective sun protection.
Protect your kids’ skin by using sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. Apply at least 15 minutes before outdoor activities. Reapply every two hours. Reapply more often if kids are swimming or sweating.
2. Keep Kids Hydrated
As the heat rises, it’s important for kids to stay hydrated. Kids don’t sweat as efficiently as adults, so they can get overheated easier and quicker. They should drink water regularly and take breaks from the heat. According to the Institute of Medicine, children four to eight years of age should drink two quarts of water a day. Teenage boys should drink three and a half quarts and teenage girls should drink 2.4 quarts a day.
3. Watch Out for Heatstroke
Heatstroke is a condition caused by overheating. It usually happens after prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Heatstroke is common in the summer months, and it requires emergency treatment. Children’s bodies overheat five times more quickly than an adult’s. To prevent heatstroke, have your child take breaks from the heat, and dress them in light clothing.
A child dies from vehicle-related heatstroke every seven days. Prevent vehicle-related heatstroke. Never leave your child alone in a car. Keep your car locked when you’re not in it so that kids can’t get in on their own.
4. Teach Car Safety
Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth most common cause of injury-related death in the United States for children who are five- to nine-years-old, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. This statistic is not specific to injuries occurring in summer. Kids are more likely to be outside when the weather is nice. Teach children how to safely cross the street. Look left, right, and then left again. Teens are at risk because they often look at their phones instead of paying attention to their surroundings. Teach teens to put away their phones when walking outside.
5. Enjoy the Pool
Be cautious around pools and other bodies of water. Don’t leave kids alone, no matter how small the body of water is. While water wings and noodles are fun to use, children who are still learning to swim should use US Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Infants at toddlers should be less than an arm’s length away from an adult.
6. Wear a Helmet When Biking
About 50 kids visit emergency departments every hour with injuries related to bikes, scooters, skates, and skateboards, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Make sure that your child wears a helmet and appropriate protective equipment for the activity every time they do it.
Motorized vehicles are even more dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends against children under the 16 riding motorized scooters. The AAP also recommends against children under the age of sixteen driving or riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). It’s estimated that over one-quarter of ATV-related injuries involve children younger than 16.
7. Prepare for Outdoor Fun
Keep kids safe from bug bites. Have them wear bug spray with 10 to 30 percent DEET to prevent tick and mosquito bites. Keep a first aid kit handy. Tweezers from the kit can remove ticks or bee stingers. Avoid areas where bugs like to hang out, like standing water and tall, dense grass. If you’re in an area with a lot of snakes, avoid their homes: tall grass and piles of leaves, rocks, and wood.
If your child needs medical attention this summer, whether that’s a well child visit, a sick visit, or an emergency visit, don’t delay. Many of our providers offer same-day appointments, and our office locations have made changes to keep you safe. Schedule your child’s visit today.