By Julie Jeffers, D.O.
Park Ridge Family Medicine
Another significant part of summer is safety. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Water safety: Drownings are the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1-4. Do not leave kids unattended while in the water, and do teach your children to swim. Relying on safety floats is not a good idea. Be present and constantly aware. Remind caregivers that their attention should always be on the children while in the water and not reading a book, on the cell phone, or talking to a friend.
Heat safety: Heat illnesses occur when the body’s temperature control system gets overwhelmed. Infants and children up to age 4 are at greatest risk, but healthy young people can get sick from the heat too. Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning or evening when it is not quite as hot. Stay cool with showers or baths. Bring water to outdoor activities and stay hydrated. Know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses. To learn more visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sun safety: You only need a few sunburns to increase your and our child’s risk for skin cancer later in life. Use a sunscreen with SPF of at least 15. Remember to reapply often and after getting out of water. Buy clothing that helps protect against UV rays. Hats can also be helpful. Wear sunglasses.
Mosquito and tick safety: Use an effective insect repellent when outdoors. Check yourself and your child for ticks. Read more about how to protect you and your loved ones from the CDC.
Sport/Play safety: Make sure your child or teen wears appropriate sport protection equipment for their sport or recreational activity. Supervise children around fall hazards such as playgrounds and stairs.