4 Simple Summer Safety Tips
Jun 05, 2017
Summer is here, which means that families will be spending as much time as possible outside to take advantage of the beautiful weather and all that Michigan’s great southwest has to offer!
“While outdoor time is healthy and fun, it's important for parents and kids to brush up on their seasonal fitness and safety tips to promote wellness and safe memories,” says nurse practitioner, Kelly Spooner, NP.
Kelly touches on four topics that will help keep your kids active, healthy, and safe this summer.
According to the experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sunburns can be very damaging to your skin's health. Sunscreen and sunblock protect the skin from UV light and are graded by their ability to block harmful sun rays. Minimize your family's exposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays by making sure that your children are dressed in cotton clothing, sunglasses, and hats with a wide brim or bill.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, children and adults should wear an SPF sunscreen of at least 30 or greater. Sunscreens that use titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and talc scatter light and work as protective barriers that are especially useful on the nose, ears, and lips.
You can start applying sunscreen to children six months or older. For little ones younger than six months, make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight and dress them in protective clothing that shades them against the sun's harmful rays. It's important to note that some of the sun's rays can penetrate through clouds as well, so children should wear protection at all times. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or prolonged perspiration.
Swimming is a wonderful part of summer and a great way to keep your kids active. However, drowning is a leading cause of death among infants, toddlers, and children. Accidental drowning can occur if children aren't properly taught how to swim and are not being watched carefully in open water. Sign your kids up for a swimming class! It promotes fitness, safety, and overall fun.
Parents and guardians should consider obtaining their CPR certification so they can be prepared if a situation were to occur. It’s recommended home swimming pools are surrounded by a fence that is at least four feet high, non-climbable, and has a self-closing and self-latching gate so that children are less likely to fall into a pool by accident. Life jackets should always be worn in lakes and pools for extra safety.
While engaging in any type of outdoor play such as biking, skateboarding, or rollerblading, children should wear a helmet at all times. Spend some time at your local sporting goods store getting your child fitted for proper head protection in order to protect their greatest organ - their brain! Teach your children about traffic and bike safety while riding in the street and sidewalks in order to avoid traffic and other pedestrians. Inform kids to ride with traffic and use their hand signals to cross the road. Always encourage them to wear bright clothes so that they are visible to other drivers and pedestrians.
Making sure kids are properly hydrated throughout the day is even more important as the temperatures continue to rise and your family is busy and on the go. Ideally, kids should be drinking half of their weight in ounces of water per day in order to stay healthy and hydrated.
Signs of a Dehydrated Child
- Sunken eyes
- Little or no urine output (for infants, no wet diaper in 8 hours)
- Very dark urine
- Skin that doesn't bounce back quickly when pinched
- Crying without tears
“Getting kids away from their phones, computers, and video games can be tough, but keeping them healthy and active throughout the summer will make their transition back to school much smoother and help them to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle as they grow,” said Kelly.