3 Pediatrician Recommended Summer Safety Tips - Baby Chick
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3 Pediatrician Recommended Summer Safety Tips

A pediatrician shares her top 3 safety tips for kids this summer by the pool, in the sun, and around those pesky bugs!

Published July 11, 2017

by Tessy Kadavil

Board-Certified Pediatrician

Summer! It’s that time of the year when life seems to slow down but still goes by in the blink of an eye. It’s barbecues, pool time, family vacations, and all-around fun. It is also a time for pediatricians to focus on summer safety tips for our patients, so here are three basic things to remember for a healthy, safe few months of summertime fun!

3 Summer Safety Tips

1. Insects

Protect your little ones from those nasty mosquitoes with insect repellant! The recommendation for children older than two months is to use 10% to 30% DEET. Ten percent DEET provides protection for about 2 hours, and 30% protects for about 5 hours. Some alternatives to DEET contain picardin, which are also okay to use. Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes, or hair sprays on your child because mosquitos are attracted to all those things. You can also find mesh screens to place over a stroller so your littlest ones can enjoy the ride without getting eaten up!

2. Sun

Sunblock has not been studied on babies under six months. So, to prevent sunburn, infants should avoid sun exposure and be dressed in lightweight, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. If those are unavailable, you can put on a light sunblock with a minimum SPF of 30 to protect them.

For older children, try to avoid the peak sun hours between 10 am and 4 pm. Wear a sunblock with a minimum SPF of 30 and reapply every 2 hours. Older kids can also wear rash guards and water-friendly hats to the splash pad or pool if you don’t feel comfortable using sunscreen on them just yet.

3. Water

Never leave children alone when they are in or near water. Children learning to swim, and all kids under 5, should have an adult within arm’s length of them. Don’t get distracted when kids are in the pool. Drowning is silent and quick; you should constantly watch your little one. While swim lessons are great to enroll babies and kids in, it is not guaranteed that drowning will not occur, and, again, there should always be an adult watching any kid in the water.

To avoid swimmer’s ear, after your child is done swimming, put a few drops of rubbing alcohol or white vinegar (or the over-the-counter swimmer’s ear drops) in each ear or dry ears out with a hair dryer on the cool setting.

Don’t forget, summertime should be fun! Even though these are a few things to remember to keep your kids safe this summer, don’t forget to enjoy this time with your little ones. School starts again soon, and they grow up fast! I hope all of you stay safe and enjoy lots of free time with your kiddies this summer!

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Tessy Kadavil Board-Certified Pediatrician
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Tessy is a board-certified pediatrician who has been working with Texas Children’s Pediatrics for over 5 years. Her background includes a residency from USF in Tampa in 2009 and working… Read more

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