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Summer Safety Tips

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The summer months are for fun and play time; children across the nation are happy. Schools are closed and long vacations are beginning. Parents are upbeat and they want to experience joyful moments in the summer sun, too. Let us share tips to make this summer pleasurable and safe for your family.

Our goal is to remind parents of basic safety information that allows them the freedom to have a good time instead of spending some of these long-anticipated summer days in the hospital with their children.

The usage of sunscreen lotions should be kept to a minimum with infants and young children. They need to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts. For older children, the first line of defense is to cover exposed skin, preferably with cotton clothing and a hat. Use sunglasses to protect their eyes. Select a sunscreen that is SPF 15 or greater. Apply it 30 minutes prior to going out and reapply it every two hours.

It is important to limit outside activities to 15 minutes when the heat and humidity are very high. Children need to take breaks while exercising to avoid heat stress. The intensity and duration of exercise can be limited initially and then gradually increased. Children should drink plenty of water before any prolonged activity begins. Make sure they keep drinking it every 20 minutes. Select clothing that is lightweight and reflects the light.

The first step to keeping your kids safe while swimming is adult supervision. Make sure your child has flotation devices appropriate to his or her age. Teach them not to swallow pool water and practice good hygiene. If any children or adults have diarrhea, we recommend that they stay out of the water.

Everyone needs to take a shower before swimming and they need to wash their hands after using the bathroom. With young kids, it is important to take them on regular bathroom breaks to change diapers and wash them thoroughly with water and soap before stepping into the pool again. Moms, when you are washing your hands after changing the baby’s diaper, use this as an opportunity to remind children to always wash their hands after using the bathroom.

A summer camp, whether it is a local day camp or a sleep away camp, can be a great way to keep children occupied over the summer. As much fun as a summer camp can be, we recommend parents not over schedule their children’s daily activities. It may seem like a great idea to take children from one camp to another, but it is important to allow free play. Free play helps a healthy brain develop and allows children to use their creativity and develop their imagination, as well as developing other strengths.

Remind adolescents to speak with you first before venturing out. Remind them not to go to malls, movies, parks, or video arcades alone. If they feel lost, remind them not to panic and to identify a safe place where they can go and find help. Safe helpers could be a uniformed law-enforcement or security officer, a store salesperson with a nametag or a mother with children. Remind them to check in with you regularly.

Enjoy your summer the safe way!

Updated 4:12 pm, July 13, 2010
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