Summer is here, school is out, and kids are enjoying their season of freedom. With less time spent indoors, there is more time for fun, but parents should be prepared for potential health issues that may occur from hazards such as poisonous plants, mosquitoes, and ticks.
“To keep your kids bug free choose bug spray with low levels of DEET (20 percent or less) and dress them in light-colored clothing,” said Stevensville pediatrician Anne Dudley, DO. “Don’t use bug spray on infants less than two months old. Instead, cover babies with light-weight long sleeved clothing and use a bug net if possible. If children do come into contact with poison ivy, cool showers and oatmeal baths help relieve itching.”
As for those kids who love adventure, whether it be climbing on playgrounds or riding anything with wheels, parents should take a few precautions before letting them out on the loose.
“Perform safety checks on play equipment, and be on the lookout for hot surfaces that can potentially burn the skin, and other dangers such as loose ropes,” said Dr. Dudley. “If your kids enjoy activities with wheels such as riding bikes or scooters, make sure they wear a helmet, elbow and shin guards.”
When it comes to a favorite summer pastime that helps us get fit and beat the heat, parents should keep in mind to never let kids swim without an adult present regardless of age or swimming experience.
“Always watch your kids, even if they’ve completed swimming lessons, and don’t forget to use life jackets for non-swimmers,” said Dr. Dudley. “If you own a pool, install fencing around it with a self-closing gate. Parents and guardians, including babysitters, should know how to perform Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in case an accident occurs.”