Welcome to the best time of the year! Its summer, and that means quality family time spent at the pool, the beach, outside in the yard, or a good relaxing day indoors. With summer comes a few safety issues that may not be as prevalent throughout the rest of the year. We want to help you and your children have a happy, healthy, and safe season, so here is the first part of our series on helpful tips to having a great summer!
Make sure that you are practicing Summer Sun Safety.
Sunscreen is just one of the things you can use to protect your children from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Apply sunscreen to both yourself and your children at least 30 minutes before going outside. Use the recommended amount for the brand you prefer with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every two hours. A daily moisturizer with SPF 15 if recommended for daily use routine use. If you are using a brand of sunscreen that has bug repellent in the formula for the first coat, make sure you are using a non-bug repellent sunscreen for all subsequent coats. Multiple layers of bug repellent sunscreen can lead to overexposure of the repellent chemicals.
Sun protective clothing and sunglasses are two more ways you can guard your children against sun damage and sunburns. Wide brim hats and cotton clothing (or SPF clothing), are the two best additions to sunscreen. Sunglasses will help protect your children’s eyes and also make them look cool. Bonus!
Protect against summer bugs!
Mosquitoes, ticks, and bees are some of the biggest summer irritants. Some bugs can carry diseases that could potentially be harmful if exposed to them. Be sure to use an insect repellent that protects against ticks and mosquitoes especially.
Check which repellent you are using. DEET is a great insecticide but is toxic and potentially deadly if ingested. Check your favorite brands to make sure they do not contain DEET; however, “natural” bug sprays don’t always mean safe bug sprays. Be sure to check with your Pediatrician if you have any questions about what they recommend. Our office doesn’t recommend using any sprays with DEET until your child is at least a year old, and even after that using a spray with 5% or less. Avon Skin-so-soft has Citronella instead, and while that is not much safer, can be used in younger children.
Other ways to protect you and your children from pests is to wear long sleeve shirts and pants when going outside, especially in the long grasses or at dusk when the bugs are most likely to be out. Make sure that there are no stagnant pools of water around your house, as those are a mosquitoes favorite place to live and breed. The last bug spray-less tip is to avoid using sweet smelling soap of perfume on your child; these can attract wasps, bees, and ants.
It’s hot out, and even if all you are doing is playing a quick game of kick around in the yard, it’s important to remember to take frequent breaks to drink water. Your child should drink water before and during exercise, at least every 15 to 20 minutes. A child should be drinking between 5-9 glasses of water a day depending on how old they are.
If it is a particularly hot and humid day have some fun and spray your kids down with some water from a spray bottle, or a hose!
We hope that these tips will help you and your family stay safe this summer! Be sure to check back with us for the next installment of our Summer Safety series. As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or want to schedule an appointment for your child, please call us at 540-349-3225.