It’s summertime which means it’s time to get outside and enjoy all that summer has to offer. Although Summer 2020 will be a summer like no other with the stress and modifications due to COVID19, there are still plenty of things to do to make lasting memories.
AS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TAKE IN ALL THAT THIS SUMMER HAS TO OFFER, REMEMBER THESE HELPFUL TIPS TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE.
It can certainly be challenging to remember to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors. But that’s exactly what you and your kids should do! Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate the skin1.
Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. Reapply every two hours, or more often if you are swimming or sweating.
Read more here about choosing the best sunscreen for kids and infants.
Sun-Protective Clothing & Gear
Another way to protect your family from the sun is by dressing in hats, tightly-woven cotton or UV clothing, and wearing sunglasses. You don’t need to spend a lot on kid sunglasses—research has shown that inexpensive sunglasses that are labeled as protective for UVA and UVB are effective in blocking the sun’s harmful rays.
PROTECT AGAINST BUGS
Bugs bites can be so itchy and annoying during the summertime. Four insects that you may find especially annoying this summer are mosquitoes, ticks, yellow jackets, and biting flies. Don’t forget to keep insect repellent handy to keep you and your kids safe from not only the itchy bites, but also potential diseases like Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus.
Many insect repellents are made with Deet, an effective insecticide, but extremely toxic and can be fatal if swallowed. If this makes you hesitant, there are alternatives to DEET-containing repellents that are natural. Keep in mind that you can always talk to your pediatrician about which insect repellent is right for your family.
Here are a few more tips to stay clear of pesky insects this summer:
- Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants when going outside, particularly at dusk when mosquitoes are typically more present.
- Never leave stagnant pools of water around the house. Pools of water can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
- Avoid using scented soaps or lotions on your child. You should also not allow your child to walk around carrying sweetened beverages, such as fruit juices. These sweet drinks will attract bees and wasps.
DON’T FORGET HELMETS
Summertime is one of the most active times of the year for people of all ages and is also one of the busiest seasons for accident related injuries. To avoid head injuries and potentially save a life, you and your child should wear a helmet whenever riding on something with wheels, such as a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard. Helmets can help absorb and cushion blows to the head and reduce the risk of serious head and brain injury by 85 percent2. Remember that you are setting an example to your kids when you wear a helmet!
If you have a swimming pool or body of water that your child will be near, it is crucial to put multiple safety measures in place to keep your kids safe. Between the months of May and August, drowning deaths among kids increase by 89%.
Use the following guidelines to keep everyone safe around water.
- Put barriers around the pool to restrict access. Use doors with locks and alarms to keep kids out when adults are not present.
- Kids should ALWAYS be supervised.
- Keep in mind that drownings can happen silently. You may not hear splashing or a call for help—a drowning can happen in minutes.
- Learn pediatric and adult CPR
Kids love trampolines and what better way to get kids to burn off excess energy and give parents some breathing space? But, if trampolines are not set up and used properly, injuries can occur. Minimize injuries by purchasing the right equipment, having strict trampoline rules, and providing adult supervision.
Here are some suggested trampoline safety rules:
- Never let more than one child use the trampoline at a time.
- Do not let kids do somersaults.
- Do not allow kids younger than 6 years of age play on a full-sized trampoline.
Have fun this summer and remember that even with the best planning, accidents can still happen. You can ensure you’re ready to help if the need arises with professional training. Find a Red Cross class in First Aid and CPR near you and get certified — or take a refresher course.
(1) American Academy of Dermatology
(2) Summer Time Safety Guidelines for Children