With the kiddos out of school for the summer, they’ll be taking full advantage of all the great activities that come along with summer vacation. With all the fun that is being had, kids don’t know there can be risks. Neighbors Emergency Center wants to make sure you and your family stay safe this summer while at home or when traveling. Here’s a list of tips to get you through the hot season ahead:
- Stay Hydrated: Before kids head out to the park or beach in the soaring temperatures, make sure to pack a cooler of water for them. Heat exhaustion can occur if their bodies get too hot. Have them drink water before they leave the house and while they’re out. Avoid sugary drinks because as good as they taste, they work against the body when it’s hot outside.
- Hand Sanitizer: When you’re on the go and not near water to get everyone’s hands clean, hand sanitizer will do that trick.
- Medical Records: It may be too much to carry a file while you travel with the family, but many smart phones have an option to add medical info to them. Or you can take a few snapshots of important info such as medications and physician information. Be sure to include up-to-date photos of everyone in case anyone gets separated and you need to share the images.
- Play Games: Whether on a plane, train or automobile – having some games to play to kill the time will keep everyone happy and entertained.
- Snack Well: Fruits and veggies are always great healthy snacks to have on hand while traveling or outdoors. Go a step further and make your own bag of goodies like dry cereal, nuts, popcorn, a cookie or two, or a small amount of chocolate coated candies.
- Sun Protection: Kids need plenty of protection from the sun. It’s best to avoid the sun at peak times (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). If it can’t be avoided, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that your little ones wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15. Reapply often throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to have them wear sunglasses, a hat and relax in a spot with shade.
- Bike Helmet: Head injuries are the most common injury when a child falls from a bike. Reduce the risk and invest in a helmet for your bike rider. A fall can happen anytime at any speed.
- Car Unattended: Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, not even for a minute. Interior temperatures can reach life to threatening numbers very quickly.
- Pool Safety: Children should stay in designated swimming areas with either an adult or where a lifeguard is on duty. Swim lessons are a good investment. Discourage horseplay around the pool area. Don’t depend on inflatable swim toys or noodles as those are not safety devices.
- Playgrounds: An adult should always stay on the playground to supervise. Remember, playground surfaces may be hot depending on the time of day – have your little ones wear the appropriate clothing to prevent burns or skin irritation. Remind kids to take turns and give their playmates space when on the swings or monkey bars. And don’t forget bug spray! Tis the season for pesky critters ready to “bug” everyone.
- Enjoy: Time with family and friends is priceless. Take plenty of photos and enjoy these moments. Before you know it, the school bell will be ringing again!
K. Scott Lawrence, MD, MSEM
Facility Medical Director