Beautiful sunny weather is upon us! With sunny skies, we start to play outside more and become more active. Here are some safety tips to keep your family healthy and happy this summer- this is by no means an extensive list, but it can get you started on the right track!

Tips for Sun Safety

Just a few serious sunburns can increase you and your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Our skin needs protection from the sun's harmful rays whenever we are outdoors.

  • Remember that peak sun exposure times are 10am-3pm. This is when the UV light is at its strongest.

  • During any time in the sun, wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.

  • Sunscreen is very important- be sure to use products with a SPF of at least 15, and apply it 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every 2 hours (or sooner if swimming, sweating, or toweling off).

  • Try to stay in the shade if you can.

Tips for Water Safety

Water activities are one of the best parts of summer! We can have fun while being physically active, but need to stay aware of risks in order to stay safe. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning

  • Always supervise children when in or around water. A responsible adult should constantly watch young children. Practice “touch supervision” (a term used by the American Academy of Pediatrics). This means that at all times, the supervising adult is within an arm’s length of the child being watched, when near or in the water.

  • Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Your CPR skills could save someone’s life.

  • Install a four-sided fence around home pools.

  • Wear a properly fitted life jacket every time you and your loved ones are boating.

Remember, no child or adult is “drown proof.” Keep in mind that people can drown in many different water sources including: bathtubs, toilets, buckets, baby pools, backyard swimming pools, community pools, streams, creeks, lakes, rivers, oceans and other places.

Tips for Insect Bites & Sting Prevention

There is a lot of media coverage regarding the Zika virus at this time. In addition to mosquitoes, we also should try to prevent tick and other insect bites as well.

  • Don't use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.

  • Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.

  • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints.

  • To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently back it out by scraping it with a credit card or your fingernail.

  • Combination sunscreen/insect repellent products should be avoided because sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, but the insect repellent should not be reapplied.

  • Use insect repellents containing DEET when needed to prevent insect-related diseases. The current AAP and CDC recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to 30% DEET. DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months of age.

  • When outside in the evenings or other times when there are a lot of mosquitoes present, cover up with long sleeved shirts, pants and socks to prevent bites. Tuck pants into socks to keep ticks out of pant legs.

  • Check family members for ticks after being outside (pay special attention to the scalp and belly button).

Tips for Dehydration and Heat-Related Illnesses

It’s very easy to get over heated when playing outside in the summer sun! Heat-related illness happens when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at greatest risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.

  • Keeping well hydrated is very important. Children (and adults) must remember to drink. Do not wait until a child says he is thirsty before offering fluids. At this point, he is already dehydrated, so be sure to provide plenty of fluids before going outside, while out in the heat and afterwards.

  • Playing in the hot summer sun means lots of fluid losses, so avoid strenuous activity during peak sun hours (10 am- 6 pm). Look for shade and take lots of breaks.

  • Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.

  • Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully, for morning and evening hours.

  • Stay cool with cool showers or baths.

  • Seek medical care immediately if your child has symptoms of heat related illness (heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale, and clammy skin, fast pulse, nausea or vomiting, fainting, high body temperature (above 103°F), hot, red, dry or moist skin, unconsciousness.

Summer First Aid Kit

Every family should have at least one first aid kit at home which is well stocked and readily accessible.

  • It’s also helpful to keep a first aid kit in the car and one to bring on trips.

  • Kids get lots of cuts and scrapes during the warm summer months, so it’s nice to be prepared.

  • Don’t forget to restock the kit once an item has been used.

  • Be sure to keep a list of emergency numbers where they are easy to find. This list should include: emergency medical services (911), the doctor’s number, the dentist’s number, poison control, a number where mom and/or dad can be reached and any other important phone numbers.