Summer is finally here, and, for many kiddos, that means so are the fun outdoor activities! While time in the great outdoors can make unforgettable memories, there are a few things to remember when it comes to keeping your children safe and enjoying all that summer has to offer. Urgent Care for Children has eight tips to ensure a safer summer for you and your family!
1. Beat the heat
Infants and children ages four and younger are at the greatest risk for heat-related illnesses, but even an older and healthy kiddo can experience the same illnesses in the summertime. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests, prevention is the best defense when it comes to heat-related illnesses. Remember to schedule outdoor activities carefully, never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked, and dress kiddos in loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
We can’t talk about beating the heat without touching on the topic of hydration. It is recommended that children consume one-eight-ounce cup of water for each year of life up to age eight. For example, if your child is three, they should drink approximately three eight-ounce cups of water, or 24 ounces total each day. After age eight, kiddos should aim for eight cups a day or 64 ounces total.
3. Protect your child’s skin from the sun
Be sure to lather your child up with sunscreen before heading into the sun. Children should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. Don’t forget that hats, loose-fitting clothes, and umbrellas can be great tools to use when blocking the sun from your child too. To learn more about UC4C’s thoughts on sunscreen, visit our blog dedicated to the subject here.
4. Properly prepare for the fun
Whether your child is going for a bike ride or hopping onto a boat, it is important to ensure that they are equipped with the proper gear before enjoying their summer activities. Children should always wear a helmet when riding a bike and a life vest when boarding a boat. These simple protective measures can save lives.
5. Be water smart
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children begin swimming lessons early and promotes the motto, “drowning prevention is a family activity.” While deciding when your child should partake in swimming lessons is an individual decision for each parent to make based on their child’s development, the AAP has a great resource for parents considering the training. Learn more about the organization’s top tips for swimming lessons here.
6. Enjoy fireworks safely
While fireworks can be a fun way to show patriotism, they also account for thousands of injuries every year. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that an average of 180 people go to the emergency room with firework injuries every day in the month of July. When viewing fireworks, it is important to watch them from a distance. And when going for a sparkler, consider a waving a flag instead. These popular fireworks can do serious damage as they reach a temperature of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Treat your lawn with extra care
While summer is the perfect time to spruce up your lawn, parents must be aware of the pesticides or herbicides used on their grass or garden. Be sure to read instructions carefully and do not allow your children to play on your lawn for at least 48 hours after being treated. To learn more about pesticides and herbicides exposure to your child, turn to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guide here.
8. Keep pesky pests away
Mosquitos and ticks thrive in the summer. Protect your family from bug bites by using an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent, which is safe for both children and breastfeeding women. To find an insect repellent that’s best for your family or child, check out the EPA’s guide by visiting this link. Protective clothing and mosquito netting are great chemical-free alternatives too!
Wherever this summer takes you, we hope you stay safe. If you happen to find yourself with a kiddo who has a broken limb, summer cold, or anything in between, know that Urgent Care for Children is here to serve you all 365 days of the year. Our five locations are home to an in-house pharmacy, x-ray, and lab to take care of all of your after-hours pediatric needs.