Summer! It’s that time of the year where life seems to slow down, but still goes by in the blink of an eye. It’s barbecues, pool time, vacations, and all around fun. It is also a time to for us pediatricians to focus on summer safety tips for our patients, so here are 3 basic things to keep in mind to have a healthy, safe few months of summertime fun!
3 Summer Safety Tips
Protect your littles one from those nasty mosquitoes with insect repellant! The recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to 30% DEET. Ten percent DEET provides protection for about 2 hours, and 30% protects for about 5 hours. There are some alternatives to DEET which contain picardin, and those are fine to use, as well. Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes, or hair sprays on your child because mosquitos are attracted to all of 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!
Sunblock has not been studied on babies under 6 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 not available, then 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 10AM – 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 splashpad or pool if you don’t feel comfortable using sunscreen on them just yet.
Never leave children alone when they are in or near water. Children learning how 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 and you should have a constant watch on your little one. While swim lessons are great to enroll babies and kids in, it is not a guarantee that drowning will not occur and, again, there should always be an adult watching any kid who is 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!