Summer is right around the corner, or so they say! Here in Buffalo, it feels like we are never going to get the warm weather this year.
Summer time is a big time to think about safety. There are so many potentials for harm. Keep your family safe this summer by following some of these tips:
- Fun in the sun:
Remember, the best way to avoid sunburn is to avoid sun exposure completely, especially for those small infants. If that is not possible, dress infants in light clothing, use brimmed hats, and if unable to stay in the shade, apply a thin layer of sunscreen. The same goes for older children. If shade is available, limit your exposure to those harmful rays. If not, make sure to use a sunscreen made for children, and reapply every 2 hours.
- Bug safety
We have all heard about mosquitos transmitting the Zika virus recently, and ticks can transmit Lyme disease. Do the best you can to avoid areas of standing water this summer. Avoid dressing your children in bright clothing and scented body lotions, as these can attract certain insects. The best insect repellent is one that has DEET in it. Use one labelled for ‘children’, and you can be assured the proper amount of DEET will be safe for your child. Avoid all DEET products for infants under 2 months of age. Always remember to wash/bathe at the end of the day to remove all DEET from the skin before bedtime.
- Playground safety
It is best to find a playground with a protective surface such as sand, bark, or shredded rubber. Make sure swings are made of soft materials. Avoid your child being able to reach moving parts where their fingers can get pinched or body parts trapped. Don’t let them play on the playground with anything hanging from their neck, this could get caught and cause choking. Make sure the metal slides are not too hot, as they can cause burns to the skin. Never allow your child on a trampoline, these are a high risk for severe injury. Always supervise your child if you do allow it, and do not get a false sense of safety because there is netting around the trampoline.
- Bicycle safety
Helmets, helmets, helmets! Start your child wearing a helmet as early as possible. Get them in the habit and they will not question you. Helmets protect a child from serious head injury and should always be worn, no matter how close to home you go; down the driveway or down the street. When purchasing a helmet, you are looking for one that meets the CPSC safety standard.
- Pool safety
Never leave a child alone in or near a pool, even for a moment! Close supervision by a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning. If you own a pool, make sure the proper fence surrounds it and the lock works to keep the gate closed. Make sure to have rescue equipment nearby such as a safety hook or life preserver. Making sure your child has proper swim training is a must as well.
- Fireworks safety
Everyone loves the 4th of July, but leave the fireworks to the experts! Fireworks can result in severe burns, scars, blindness and even death. Even those fun sparklers can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Dr. Rebecca Daniels