Everyone loves Summer, right? Here are five tips to stay safe so you can enjoy summer to the fullest.
Don’t forget sunscreen. We all know that vitamin D from the sun is important for your health, but the risk of sunburn is too great to skip the sunblock. When choosing a sunblock for your child, consider the following:
- Choose a broad-spectrum sunblock. Both UVA and UVB coverage is important.
- Choose an SPF of at least 15.
- Apply sunblock at least 15 minutes before going outside and reapply frequently.
- If your child has sensitive skin, consider a physical sunscreen with Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide instead of a chemical sunscreen.
- For children under 6 months of age, sunscreen is safer than sunburn. Try protective clothing and shade for infants. If that is not possible, use a physical sunscreen on exposed areas. We have interacted with children here at Peconic Pediatrics who had preventable sunburns.
2. Insects, bugs and plants:
- Mosquito bites, bee stings, tick bites and poison ivy can all be a problem over the summer months. Dr. Meah recently wrote an informative post about ticks. Don’t forget to check yourself and your children for ticks every day. Remember, if a tick is removed promptly, it cannot transmit infection.
- As for bee stings, it is important to distinguish between a local reaction and a systemic allergic reaction. If your child is allergic to bee stings then keep an epipen handy. If swelling occurs only around the site of the sting, this is a local reaction and not a life-threatening allergy.
- Finally, poison ivy, sumac and oak cause rashes, itchiness and sometimes, secondary infection in the summer months. Get familiar with what these plants look like and try to avoid them. If your child has a reaction, bring him in for evaluation and treatment at Peconic Pediatrics or your local pediatrician.
With so many outdoor activities, we see a lot of injuries in the summer, especially in an active town such as Riverhead, New York. Make sure your kids wear helmets and other safety gear to limit the injuries they sustain when they inevitably fall..
Pool safety cannot be overemphasized. Every summer there are heartbreaking stories about pool deaths. Children should never be allowed to swim unsupervised. They should never swim alone. Floatation devices do not substitute for adult supervision and pool areas should be safely secured so that children cannot wander in.
Unfortunately, illness and infections don’t take a vacation during the summer months. There are a number of common summer time illnesses. The most common is probably coxsackie virus or hand, foot and mouth disease. Swimmers ear is another popular summer time infection. However, we still see stomach viruses and strep throat in the summer months as well. If your child is sick, we are always here to help you. The goal of pediatric treatment is to not only treat illnesses, but also prevent them from happening as much as we possibly can.