Summer is the time of vacations, trips to the pool and other fun activities. But, summer fun brings with it specific risks. Here, the childcare experts at Celebree provide tips for keeping your children safe and healthy this summer season.
For kids, summertime is all about having fun – but at times, safety and fun do not go hand in hand. As a parent, it is important to stay informed, and to relay this information to your children, instilling in them a need to make cautious but practical choices. By setting responsible expectations, and leading by example, you can spend less of the summer worrying, and more of it relaxing.
Warm weather and blue skies bring children outside to play, sometimes for hours at a time. But, children have particularly sensitive skin, no matter their natural skin tone, and elevated levels of sun exposure can lead to burns, blisters and risk of melanoma and skin cancer. The sun is especially strong between the hours of 10am and 4pm, so it is important to try to mitigate direct sun exposure during these times. You can do so by encouraging children to take plenty of indoor breaks to cool off and rehydrate, and by requiring your children to wear hats and sunscreen at all times.
All children six months and older should wear at minimum SPF 30 sunscreen: apply liberally 15-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours, or after contact with water. Dress children in protective clothing and hats, especially infants under six months.
Pools, water parks, boats, and other water activities can be great fun for the whole family. But, water can be dangerous in many ways. It is important to teach your children about the risks and dangers of the water and to take steps to reducing those risks when possible.
Signing up for swimming lessons can be valuable for all children, and can begin as early as one year old. Life jackets and flotation devices should be used as necessary, and children should never be left unsupervised in or near water. Supervision without distraction is key to safe play near or in water: put away the cellphone, tablet, or any other electronic device. Learn CPR in case of emergencies. If you own a pool, drain it after use, or keep it secured behind a fence and locked gate, and teach children to never swim without an adult present.
Besides drowning risks, there are also health hazards. Take children for bathroom breaks every hour or so, to prevent accidents in the water. Provide earplugs, nose plugs, and googles for children to prevent swimmers ear, pink eye, and other concerns.
Summer is a busy time for insects too, which can harbor all kinds of dangerous diseases and present health risks. Apply bug spray to your children’s exposed skin and clothing, and reapply regularly. Avoid allowing children to play in marshy, damp areas, which can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other biting insects. Children should wear long socks and protective clothing when spending time in the woods, and their skin and clothing should be checked for ticks upon coming home. If your child is bitten, and is showing flu-like symptoms, lethargy or allergic reactions, it is important to take them to the doctor immediately.
Wherever safety is a concern, preparation is key. Being an informed and prepared parent makes every situation far less stressful. At Celebree, we value your child’s safety above all else. For more information about one of our educational, fun and nurturing programs, contact us today!