Jun 01 17

Summer Safety Tips

Summer Safety Tips

As children look forward to a few fun-filled summer months, it's time for parents to start thinking about how to protect their children this summer.

Some of the same things kids love so much about the summertime -sunny weather, swimming, travel and freedom-can be dangerous when summer safety rules get lost in the chaos of new schedules and activities. Here's how you can help keep your kids safe this season:

1. Do NOT leave children unsupervised in parked cars. Even in less threatening temperatures, vehicles can rapidly heat up to dangerous temperatures. A child left inside a car is at risk for severe heat-related illnesses and/or death, even if the windows are cracked open.

2. Seek shelter in cool areas . Air-conditioning is the best form of protection against heat related illness, so be sure to spend as much time in air-conditioned spaces as possible during extreme heat waves. Many think sitting in the shade is a simple way out. Shade provides relief from heat but offers parents a false sense of security about UVR protection. People can still sunburn in shade, because light is scattered and reflected.

3. Stay informed. Listen to local news and weather channels for health, safety and weather related updates, including heat warnings, watches and advisories. Follow the guidance from local officials.

4. Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Choose lightweight, light-colored, and breathable fabrics (such as cotton), as well as broad-spectrum sunscreen (with protection from both UVA and UVB sun rays) to protect you and your child from the heat and potential sun related skin damage. Apply liberally 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure so it can absorb into the skin and decrease the likelihood that it will be washed off. Then reapply every two hours and after kids swim, sweat, or dry off with a towel.

5. Drink lots of fluids. Remember to drink plenty of liquids, regardless of your activity level. Check your baby's diaper for concentrated (dark in color) urine, which can indicate dehydration. Fluids should be drunk before, during and after being exposed to extreme heat. Also avoid hot meals as they may increase body heat.

6. Know how to identify heat-related illnesses. Learn symptoms and signs of heat-related illnesses/conditions such as heat stroke, exhaustion, cramps, and severe sunburn. If children show these symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately. Refer to the CDC website for a complete list of health conditions caused by extreme heat exposure, and how to remedy them.

7. Get lots of rest. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Make sure that children get lots of rest when they are active.

8. Keep children entertained. Children may become anxious or restless from being kept indoors. Plan ahead for indoor activities and games and limit the screen-time on televisions, phones and tablets.

9. Reassure children. Children may become fearful or stressed from effects of the heat, such as seeing dead animals. Remember that children take their cues from their parents and caregivers, so try to keep calm and answer their questions openly and honestly.

10. Stay off cell phones. Don't allow yourself to get distracted when your kids are in the water. And yes, chatting with other parents is a common distraction as well.

Wishing you a safe and fun-filled summer!

Sunshine Learning Center

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