Summer is all about fun in the sun, but make sure you and your children are safe too. Year round parents need to be concerned about sun safety. Try to keep infants under 6 months in the shade as much as possible. Prevention is the first line of defense, for older children too. Find a big umbrella to lay under or enjoy the natural shade of a tree. An SPF 15 sunscreen should be used even on cloudy days. Use SPF 30 if you will be near water, but never exceed SPF 35. Higher SPF sunscreens have caused chemical burns on delicate skin.
Don’t complain when your t-ball coach schedules practice in the early morning or late in the evening. As inconvenient as it may be, high intensity, outdoor activities should not last more than 15 minutes when there is high heat or humidity. Perhaps your little ones could rest for a bit in the afternoon in the air conditioning. Before they ask, no, they do not have to take a nap.
Pools are always a fun activity in the summer. They have their own dangers though. The most important guideline you should remember is to never leave children unattended in a pool even for just a moment. Children age 4 and above should take swimming lessons. Younger children should never be out of arms reach when in the pool. Take extra precaution if you have a home pool. Stress to children the importance of following pool rules in public pools. Contact your area fish and wildlife department for lake water safety tips.
The buzz on bugs is to be safe. Avoid using scented perfumes and hair products on children that could attract bugs. Low levels of DEET have been approved for children over 2 months of age, but there are alternatives if you would rather not expose your child to that chemical. I am going to use DEET free bracelets that provide over two hundred hours of protection if properly stored for everyone in my family. They are even safe for infants and elderly.
The great outdoors includes activities such as bicycling, skateboarding, roller skating, and playing on playground equipment. Remember the not so lazy days of our childhood summers when we were outside playing from dawn to dark? All your outdoor play equipment should be in good working order. Make sure your child is familiar with basic safety rules for their favorite pastimes.
There is lots of family fun to be had this summer. While you are refreshing your kids on summer safety tips, it might be a good time for mom and dad to review grilling safety and other summer food safety guidelines.Stay safe and enjoy your summer.