YAY! It’s finally here… Summer! The warm, beautiful weather, outdoor activities and family fun are plentiful this time of year. Unfortunately, so are the opportunities for sunburns, heat rashes, bug bites, water dangers, and many more summer activity hazards. Below are five important summer safety tips to help ensure a super spectacular summer!
|Why yes, that is Ollie and Professor “The Bloody Cat” playing at the beach!|
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Do not trust a child’s life to another child
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
This is what I have Ollie in this Summer–They are called Puddle Jumpers.
- Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail.
- Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
- Teach children to always ask permission to go near water!
- If you are around water and your child is missing ALWAYS check the water first. Seconds count.
* Secondary drowning occurs after a child has struggled in the water. It is rare and accounts for only 1-2% of drowning cases, but still be aware that if your child has struggled in the water, and swallowed water. As a result, secondary drowning is possible. Look for these warning signs:
- Trouble breathing, chest pain, or a cough
- A sudden change in behavior
- Extreme Fatigue
The bottom line is that you know your child, after a near-drowning incident or a long day of swimming, Be aware of any sudden changes from the norm.
3. Stings and Bites-With lovely warm weather comes evil pesky bugs. Unfortunately, bright colors and floral prints (summer colors!) attract bees and wasps, as do those sweet sticky faces and hands. If you are going to a park or area that you know will have a high concentration of bugs, bees, and wasps, stick to clothing with muted light solid colors.
If your child is stung, don’t pull out the stinger with fingers or tweezers. Scrape gently with a credit card to push the stinger out in the direction in which it entered. Once the stinger is out, make a paste out of baking soda and water, or a 0.5 percent hydrocortisone cream can provide relief.
As for insect repellents… DEET can be toxic! Repellents with 10 to 30 percent concentrations of DEET can be used on exposed skin, clothing and shoes, but do not apply it too little faces or hands. If you want to avoid DEET, the (CDC) recommends repellents that are made of picaridin are non-toxic and work just as well as formulas with low levels of DEET.
*The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the CDC recommend that for children older than 2 months of age use 10% to 30% DEET. DEET should never be used on children younger than 2 months of age.
We LOVE and use the Honest Company All Natural Bug Spray and their sunblock stick for squirmy little faces…
4. Over Heating/dehydration/and heat rashes– The key to avoiding overheating is to stay hydrated. Always have cool drinks, preferably water or sports drinks readily available to your children. Never wait for your child to tell you he is thirsty. According to the AAP, your child is already dehydrated when he asks for something to drink, so offer lots of fluids both before going outside and once your child is outside playing.
* Hot, humid weather can lead to blocked sweat glands that lead to nasty rashes in the folds of your child’s skin. If this occurs, place your child in a cool, soapless bath. Dry him completely then apply cornstarch powder to the rash, and avoid unnecessary clothing. The rash should clear up in two to three days.
5. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CHILD UNATTENDED IN THE CAR FOR A MINUTE! Next time you are alone in your car, turn it off and count to 60 – Not very comfortable is it? Within one minute your car can increase by ten degrees Fahrenheit! TEN! Under no circumstance should your child be left in a car.
*Even the very best parents and caregivers have been known to forget about a sleeping child in the backseat. A good rule of thumb is to keep a small stuffed animal in the car, and every time you get in place the small stuffed animal in your lap to remind you that your child is in the car. Or place your purse/laptop bag in the backseat with your child, so you have to get in the backseat before leaving your car. (Thanks for the tip, Mel!) This is especially useful in the mornings. This may save your child’s life.
And last, a bonus, and something near to my heart, proper eye care during the summer season, and all year long… you don’t want crows feet right? The following infographic will blow your mind!