Can we just talk for a second about how much I LOVE summer!!?? The heat, longer days, warm nights, fun activities, summer holidays,NO SCHOOL, and so much more! Really, I could go on all day! I was meant to be in the sun. I was MADE for the sun. Summer is my favorite!!!! But, with all that summer awesomeness there are also a lot of summer dangers! Especially when kids and babies are involved! So lets chat about how to prevent any nastiness from happening while you are out enjoying the sun this Holiday Weekend!
The first thing we all think of is protecting from the sun! Sunlight exposure in the early years is directly linked to the increased risk of Melanoma in the later years.
How to protect your kids from the sun:
Sunscreen should be applied early on in the day and repeated…and repeated….and repeated! Children 6 months and older should use AT LEAST an SPF 15. (Personally, we use 50 in our house). But it has actually been proven that for the most part the application and reapplication (if done correctly) are more important than the higher SPF. You should be putting sunscreen on 15-30 minutes before sun exposure. This helps so it doesn’t come off in water, with sweat and also helps so it is absorbed properly. Reapply often (At least every 2 hours) and after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel.
Babies do NOT belong in the sun.
Babies under the age of 6 months should not be in direct sunlight. Sunscreen is also not recommended for babies younger than 6 months. But the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) says sunscreen may be used on small areas of the skin if you are unable to cover the area with clothes or shade. Make sure your baby is properly covered with light clothing and hats at all times,
Know the weather risks
Before going out in the sun make sure you check the UV index in your area. You can find this on sites like Weather.com. This can help predict the intensity of the UV rays that day as well as the air quality you are breathing that day. You should avoid taking your kids out on RED air days as much as possible.
Dress Kids Appropriately
Make sure your kids are wearing clothing that protects their delicate skin. Ensuring they are wearing light weight clothing and hats will protect form UV rays. Make sure you aren’t dressing them too hot for the weather. Especially babies! Put your kids in light weight clothing that is breathable. Many clothes now have a UV shield and can give extra protection from the suns rays.
Avoid the hottest part of the day
Peak sun hours are 10am-4 pm. If you can, plan early morning activities and later afternoon activities. This may be impossible! So, make sure you and your kids are getting adequate breaks from the sun and heat! (And PLENTY of liquids!)
Shade will not always prevent a burn
You can still get sunburned while in the shade or under cloud protection. So make sure you are still slathering the sunscreen on yourself and your kids if you are going to be outside all day. Especially young children and fair skinned children!
Prevent Heat Stroke and Dehydration
Here is the rule of thumb for how much kids should be drinking to prevent dehydration.
12 Ounces of Fluid 30 minutes before an activity begins.
Mandatory Fluid breaks should be taken throughout hte day.
Children Under 90 Lbs need to drink 5 oz every 20 minutes during activities.
Children over 90 lbs should be drinking 9 oz every 20 minutes.
Follow these guidelines to reduce the risk of dehyrdation! You should also be watching for the following signs of dehyrdations:
NEVER leave a child unattended in a vehicle!!! NEVER! This includes Winter, Summer. Spring and summer! NEVER! For more information on heat stroke in vehicles check out this Article.
A car heats up by 19 degrees or MORE in only 10 minutes. Fatalities can occur in temperatures as low as mid 50s. Never leave a child alone in a car! Children are at a very high risk for heat stroke because their bodeis heat up three to five times faster than adults.
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in kids ages one to four.
Never allow your child to swim alone.
Drowning can happen quickly. Never let a child out of your site while swimming. Even in small amounts of water. Children (even kids who know how to swim) should NEVER be allowed to swim unsupervised.
While your children are swimming, your entire focus should be on them. Put away your cell phone and other distractions. This includes being distracted by your Mommy friends! Again, drowning can happen quickly and quietly. No piece of gossip or social media update is worth the risk of your child drowning. Leave the cell phones at home while going swimming! Don’t take your eyes off those babies for a minute!
Stay up on your skills
It is always a good idea to know Infant child CPR. You can get certified at a very low cost online or at a local Red Cross. It is very wise to have someone who is knowledgeable in water safety and life saving skills while swimming.
All water should be guarded
To ensure your child’s safety and children’s safety around your all water should be guarded at all times. Even small kiddie pools should be emptied after each use. This also includes fountains, ponds, pools and other areas. These areas should be guarded at all times and parent supervision should be given around these areas. Using an alarm or fence can save lives. However, you should never depend on these items and they should not take the place of proper supervision.
For tricks on getting your child to like water Read Here!!!
Yucky Bug Safety
As with sunscreen, kids should be sprayed with bug spray throughout the day. Especially in the early morning and evenings. Spray should be applied and reapplied throughout the day. Watch for skin reaction from sprays and discontinue use and contact your pediatrician if you notice any type of reaction.
Watch for allergies
If you child reacts to an insect bite call your pediatrician or in serious cases call 911. Ask if you should be giving your child an antihistamine or other medication. This includes bites and stings. If your child is allergic to bites or stings, keep the appropriate medication with you at ALL times.
Watch out for Ticks
If you have been in the mountains or other areas that have ticks, check your child for ticks when you go home. If you are in an area prone to having ticks (like mountains) Your child should wear,. when possible, wear clothes that cover the skin. But in summer heat this can be impossible! So make sure you are checking for ticks when you go indoors. Make sure to check your child and have them shower within 2 hours of coming inside. Make sure all clothes are washed even if they don’t seem dirty enough to be washed. Ticks can hitch a ride on clothes so make sure you wash them when you get home! Check ALL areas of the body. If you find a tick make sure you use appropriate measures to remove the tick.
Use all safety gear when playing outside
Last but definitely not least make sure your kids are wearing appropriate safety gear while playing outside. This includes but is not limited to helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, floaties, life jackets etc….
Don’t forget….TO HAVE FUN!!!!!
Stay Safe, Have fun and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!!!
Proud to be an American!
To Keep all those water bottles and safety products try out this back pack diaper bag!
For a little extra summer fun try out a fun summer hammock!