Summer is almost here, which means lots of new fun. It’s a great time to refresh your memory on safety precautions to take as you spend the days outside, in the water and on vacation! Olathe Health Pediatrician Michael McGinnis, MD, and Robin Spencer, APRN, have provided tips to keep your kids safe and healthy this summer!
- Avoid direct sun exposure for babies less than 6 months of age. Use the shade canopy on the stroller to help avoid direct exposure.
- Kids should wear cool, loose-fitting clothes and hats with a tight weave. The more light you can see through the clothes, the more light that is hitting your child's skin. Also look for clothing and swimsuits with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 30 or higher.
- Use sunglasses with 99 percent UV protection that properly fit your child.
- Look for "broad-spectrum" sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Broad spectrum means it screens out both UVA and UVB rays.
- Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapplied every two hours.
- It is best to avoid combination sunscreen/insect repellent products because sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours. Insect repellent does not need to be reapplied that often.
- The CDC recommends using insect repellents containing 10 percent to 30 percent DEET for children older than 2 months. DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months of age.
- Do not use eucalyptus oil or lemon oil on kids less than 3 years old.
- Avoid standing water.
- Never leave children alone in or near a pool or body of water.
- Whenever children under the age of 5 are in or around water, an adult should always be within arm's length.
- Never leave water buckets or kiddie pools full of water.
- Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as "floaties." They are not a substitute for approved life jackets and can give children and parents a false sense of security.
- Ensure kids are wearing approved life jackets in boats and when near the water.
- If you have a pool, make sure you have a quality fence and alarms on the gates.
- Children should get swim lessons early and often. Adults should know CPR.
- Never leave a child alone in a car! The inside of a car can reach dangerous temperatures, even when the outside temperature is not hot.
- To avoid dehydration or heat-related illnesses while playing outside, make sure children are well hydrated. Don't wait until they are thirsty, as that is a sign they may already be dehydrated.
- Avoid strenuous activities during peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- A helmet should be worn whenever a child is on wheels - bikes, scooters, skates, etc. A helmet should also be worn during other appropriate sports, like horseback riding.
- A properly fitting helmet is level on the head, covers the forehead, and the strap securely fastens with about two fingers able to fit between the chin and strap.
Olathe Health offers a large network of pediatricians and primary care doctors to take care of your family. To learn more, visit our pediatric page.