Summer is a great time for our families to get outside and play! While we encourage our kids to get outside as a way to provide exercise and explore their worlds, it is important to keep in mind a few safety tips to be sure that kids are enjoying their summer safely. Here are a few tips from Vibrant Health pediatrician Dr. Speer.
Children and babies overheat muck quicker than adults so be cautious spending extended periods of time outside when the heat index is above 90. Please provide frequent water, even before a child asks for it! Seeking shade or playing in water like sprinklers and pools can also help temper the heat and allow children to spend more time outside safely. It’s time to take your child inside if they seem excessively flushed or thirsty or if they seem very tired. Never leave a child unattended in a car as they can overheat quickly.
Any child playing in water (such as a pool, lake or ocean) needs close adult supervision to prevent any water injuries, including drowning. A parent or other adult (preferably one who can swim) should be designated and free from distractions while supervising. Remember to always be within arm’s reach of a child in water who can’t swim or is still learning to swim. Children who know how to swim well can be supervised from further away, though an adult still needs to be in close enough distance to offer help within seconds. Flotation devices can help younger children play more independently in the water but are NOT a substitute for close adult supervision. Children on docks or on boats should always wear a well-fitted life jacket.
Regardless of skin tone, all children over 6 months old should be wearing a sunblock when playing in the sun. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of above 30 and be sure to reapply every 90 minutes or after swimming or towel-drying. Staying out of the direct sun during peak hours (10am to 3pm) can also help reduce sun damage.
Please remember to be sure that your child is always wearing a well-fitted and fastened helmet when riding on a bicycle, scooter or skateboard. Helmets are essential for safe summer fun!
With the upcoming 4th of July celebrations, it is important to remember that children and parents should never handle fireworks or be near fireworks, including sparklers. Fireworks are a leading cause of summer injuries including burns and hearing loss. Fireworks are also a leading cause of house fires. Please enjoy fireworks at a public, professional display and avoid use at home.
If you have any questions, please ask your pediatrician. We’re here to help you enjoy your summer safely!