Parents, please keep these simple tips in mind to ensure that your child has a fun and SAFE summer break:
1) WATER SAFETY
- Always have a designated person whose only job is to watch out for a drowning child; this is especially important at family functions where children are at the greatest risk of drowning because everyone thinks someone else is watching their children.
- Be sure that CPR certification is on your list of things to do to prepare for water safety in case a child is in need of rescue due to a water-related accident.
2) SUN SAFETY
- All children 6 months and older should use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or 30.
- Infants less than 6 months old need to be completely covered by light clothes and protected from the sun via umbrellas and large hats. Small amounts of sunscreen may be placed on infants younger than 6 months in very small areas but please remember they are more likely to accidently rub the sunscreen into their eyes which will cause significant burning, so always try to avoid the need to have to apply sunscreen on these younger infants.
- Older kids should have access to shaded areas as well. This is especially important between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when you are exposed to the most damaging UV rays that can cause cancer as early as in your 20’s.
- Sunscreen should be applied every 80 minutes if getting wet and every 2 hours otherwise.
- All children of all skin shades need sunscreen to protect their skin even when it is not bright or sunny outside.
3) BOATING SAFETY
- All children and adults, regardless of how good a swimmer they are, should wear an appropriately sized life jacket at all times while boating. Substitutes for life jackets are never acceptable.
- Drugs and alcoholic beverages should always be avoided while operating these vehicles.
- Helmets must be worn 100% of the time to decrease the risk of traumatic brain injuries that can occur even with a simple fall. These helmets should be easily visible in all types of lighting and have a Consumer Product Safety Commission or Snell sticker attached, which means that they have been approved as a safety helmet and not just a designer helmet which provides inadequate protection.
5) INSECT SAFETY – When enjoying the outdoors, care should be taken to avoid getting bitten by insects when at all possible to decrease the risk of diseases that they may be carrying or bacterial skin infections often self-induced from scratching those itchy bites.
- Please apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed areas of skin, being careful to avoid spraying on the hands or anywhere near the mouth.
- Repellents that contain DEET (frequent active ingredient in insect repellent) are safe for kids as young as 2 months of age in concentrations between 10-30% but should only be applied once. Multiple doses can be toxic, so avoid the sunscreen-DEET mixtures.
For more summer safety tips you can visit the following websites: cdc.gov or healthychildren.org.