Summer Safety Tips - We’ve Got You CoveredJuly 1, 2014 by Molly Huff
Source: American Acadmey of Pediatrics
We are now well into summer, and with that comes lots of time spent outdoors. Affinity Health would like to keep your family safe with these sun and water safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). As always, if accidents or illnesses do happen, the Affinity ExpressCare Clinic is here for many of your urgent care needs - you can always visit the ExpressCare page to find out everything we treat on site.
Here are some ways to keep you and your loved ones safe from harm this summer:
Fun in the Sun
- For babies under 6 months: avoid sun exposure and dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face. If a sunburn occurs, apply cool compresses to the affected area.
For all other children:
- The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97%-100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays) and clothing with a tight weave.
- Stay in the shade when possible, and limit sun exposure during peak intensity hours - 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- On sunny AND cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
- Be sure to apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours.
Use extra caution near water and sand as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.
Heat Stress in Exercising Children
- The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.
- Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.
- Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbed material to facilitate the evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
- Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and there should be more frequent water breaks. Children should promptly move to cooler environments if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous.
- Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.
- Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult - preferably one who knows CPR - should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
- Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool - the fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under or through.
- Make sure pool gates open out from the pool and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach.
- Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties” - they are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give a false sense of security.
- Children ages 1 to 4 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction.
Affinity Health wants you and your family to enjoy your summer and avoid injuries and illnesses - for more tips on sun and safety, visits www.healthychildren.org.
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