Doctors at the Hospital of Saint Raphael’s Chapel Pediatrics are offering parents safety tips as part of an effort to keep kids healthy this summer.
“With vacations and warmer weather on their way, now is a good time to focus on child safety and preventing common childhood injuries and accidents,” Dr. Annette Cameron said.
Here are some tips:
· Never leave children alone in or near water – even for a minute – and always watch them carefully. Have adults take turns being “child watchers” at family events.
· Ponds, five-gallon buckets and wading pools are drowning hazards for very young children. Empty water from buckets and wading pools and make sure children are constantly supervised.
Bikes, carts and other vehicles
· Always wear properly fitting bicycle helmets when riding a bicycle, scooter or skateboard.
· Never let children ride on mowers or carts towed by mowers.
Sun, heat and insect protection
· Use sunscreen with SPF greater than 30 and UVA/UVB protection. Always apply sunscreen 30 minutes BEFORE going outside.
· Use a dedicated sunscreen, not a repellent/sunscreen combination. Sunscreen needs to be applied more frequently and reapplied every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
· Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
· Infants younger than 6 months should not use sunscreen; dress them in long sleeves and pants and a hat. Do not keep infants out in the heat of the day for more than a half hour at a time.
· When it is 90 degrees or above and humid, children should not exercise or play outside for more than 30 minutes.
· Make sure kids drink at least eight glasses of water per day; do not wait until they are thirsty – they may be already mildly dehydrated by then.
· Use insect repellent that contains no more than 30 percent DEET and use it on clothing and on exposed skin only.
· Remove head and neck drawstrings from all children’s clothing to avoid strangulation hazards.
· Common choking hazards in young children include summer favorites like hot dogs and grapes. These should be avoided or cut up in small pieces before giving to children age 3 and younger.