Summer is often the best part of the year for many children. Once school is out, it’s a great opportunity to explore the world, make friends and have adventures with other kids, and enjoy as much time as they can in the sun. Summertime is a fantastic period for kids to learn about themselves and grow, but also a time where they’re likely to get sick or hurt.
Making sure your kids make the most of summer instead of spending their time at home recovering from injuries and illnesses is a concern all parents have. So, here are a few of the top suggestions you’ll want to follow to ensure your child stays safe and enjoys their summer:
Tips for Sun Protection:
The most common injury that can ruin a child’s day is a sunburn. All that time outside means your child is going to get exposed to UV rays, which are strongest when your kids are most active between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Even if your children aren’t getting burned, studies by the CDC have shown that too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays leads to heightened risk of cancer developing later in life. Make sure your kids follow these suggestions to stay safe and healthy while playing in the sun:
- Cover Up: When appropriate, cover up with longer sleeved shirts and pants. Wear SPF 15 sunscreen or higher on skin that isn’t protected by clothing. Make sure you get the face! Don’t forget to re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours or more if your child has been swimming.
- Eye and Head Protection: Sunglasses are vital for protecting the eyes, reducing the risk of eye strain and cataracts from developing later in life. Hats are also highly recommended.
- Regular Breaks: Regular breaks in the shade are recommended, especially after 30 minutes of playing. Make sure your children drink water during their breaks as well.
Tips for Physical Injury Prevention:
Whether they’re playing with friends or participating in a sports league, summertime will often lead to a wide range of physical injuries. Without the proper gear or preventative measures, sprains, concussions, broken bones, and other serious injuries can occur.
Make sure you go over these tips with your children to greatly reduce the risk of physical injury as they play outside:
- Stretch Before Playing: When engaging in serious activity, it’s always a good idea to stretch or warm up before playing. This is especially important for activities that involve a lot of running, such as football, soccer, basketball, and other related sports. Stretching will reduce injury, and lead to improved performance during play as well!
- Check Your Kid’s Shoes: Tripping, falling, sprains, and soreness? Summertime often leads to feet and ankles injuries, with the most common cause being worn out or improperly worn shoes. Be sure to replace your children’s shoes as they get worn out, and tie the laces for your especially young children before they go out and play.
- Wear Helmets: Kids often complain about the gear they have to wear, but helmets are vital for preventing injuries. Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 63%, and concussions by 86%. If your child rides a bike, skateboard, or scooter, make sure they wear a helmet!
- Teach Playground Rules: Playgrounds are a fun and generally safe place for children to play, but only when children follow the proper rules. Make sure you go over what equipment your kids can and can’t use when they visit a playground. This also gives you a chance to inspect playground equipment for potential dangers others might miss.
Tips for Water Injury Prevention:
Whether you’re going to a pool or visiting the beach, keep these tips in mind to greatly reduce the risk of water related injuries:
- No Running By The Pool: The edge of pools are often slick from swimmers entering and exiting the water. The residual water coming off of people causes the ground to be very slick for this reason. Make it clear to your children that they should never run around the edge of a pool.
- Keep Your Eyes on Your Children At All Times: Whether you’re at the pool or especially at the beach, it is vital you keep your eyes on your children at all times. According to the CDC, some children may drown in just 20 seconds after going underwater. Even with a lifeguard on duty, keep a close eye as your children swim.
- Wear A PFD: A personal flotation device is any device that helps the wearer float in the water. They are absolutely vital for swimmers, especially young ones, as an estimated 86% of drownings could have been prevented by a PFD. If your kids don’t like life jackets, consider alternatives, like a belt or shoulderless vest.
Tips For Preventing Infections:
Your kid will want to spend as much of summer playing as possible, so consider scheduling a preventative care appointment before summer begins to prepare your child for the fun that is to come.
A preventive care appointment is an examination for healthy children to make sure there are no underlying or chronic health issues. This is also a great time to screen for other potential developmental issues, including vision, hearing, allergies, and more. Recommended immunizations are also discussed as well, including those needed for the coming school year.
Make sure your child regularly washes their hands, especially after eating, playing with friends, and interacting with public play equipment. Consult parents when scheduling playdates, making sure that neither of your children have been sick recently. Lastly, keep an eye on the news, and be aware of the most common diseases affecting children each summer.
Other Safety Tips for Kids in the Summer:
- Always try to provide adult supervision for children, especially 13 years and younger.
- Keep an eye out on environmental dangers. Pets and bugs, thorny plants and bushes, and unmaintained playgrounds and trails can all lead to injury without proper awareness.
- Be extra careful during the fireworks season. Fireworks are a leading cause of injury for children under 15 years old. Do not let children ignite fireworks.
Schedule an Appointment with Advocare Haddon Pediatric Group:
Preventive care is often the best way to keep your children happy and healthy, especially as kids get out of school and get ready to play all summer long. The right immunizations, and proper check ups for other underlying issues, can greatly reduce the risk of your kids getting sick or hurt as they spend their time with friends and family.
If you are a resident of New Jersey, then we hope you’ll schedule a wellness consultation with us, Advocare Haddon Pediatric Group. Our Mullica Hill and Haddon Heights offices are both staffed with experienced pediatric doctors ready to provide medical care for children of all ages. We provide a wide range of pediatric services, including physicals and immunizations.
Start the summer off right with a consultation, and you’ll take the preventive steps you need to greatly reduce the risk of injury or infection as your child makes the most of summer. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, and we’ll look forward to helping your child here at Advocare Haddon Pediatric Group.