Summer Safety – Laura Kauffman, M.D., F.A.A.P.

It’s that time of year to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! Whether you’re spending the day at the beach, in a pool or on the playground, we’re always striving to keep our kids healthy and happy. Here are a few tips to keep the family safe this summer:

Fun in the Sun

  • For babies under 6 months of age, to prevent sunburn avoid sun exposure, dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn.
  • For older children, stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.

Heat Stress

  • Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.
  • Infants and small children are not able to regulate their body temperature in the same way that adults do. The inside of a car can reach dangerous temperatures quickly, even when the outside temperature is not hot. Never leave a child alone in a car, even if you expect to come back soon.

Pool/Boating Safety

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment; close supervision by a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning in children.
  • Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool.
  • Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats, docks or near bodies of water.

For more tips on sun and water safety, visit: HealthyChildren.org – Summer Safety Tips, Sun and Water Safety

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