As the hot weather approaches, be sure to take the proper precautions required to minimize your children’s risk of summer illness and injury.
1. Recognize the signs of heat exhaustion.
Nausea, dizziness, headache and a fast but weak heartbeat are signs of heat exhaustion. If your child shows any of these symptoms, bring them to a shaded area or a cool place and offer cool water to drink. Be sure to monitor your child closely as heat exhaustion can escalate to heat stroke, which is a true emergency. If you are concerned about your child’s heat exposure, seek medical advice.
2. Keep kids hydrated.
In the hot summer months when your children are active and sweating, be sure that they drink enough fluids. Children who play sports during the summer months should take regular water breaks every 20 to 30 minutes to remain hydrated. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, lethargy, dark or no urine, dizziness and irritability. Allowing kids to choose their own water bottle make help increase their desire to drink.
3. Treat sunburns appropriately.
While the best way to treat sunburn is prevention, there are things you should and shouldn’t do if your child does develop a sunburn. Do leave blisters alone and intact to prevent infection, do apply aloe vera gel or lotion frequently and don’t try home remedies like putting butter on a sunburn. In addition to redness, signs of sunburn can include a headache and a fever.
4. Take extreme precautions around water.
Never leave children unattended around water, even for a second. Be sure that pools are fenced in and that locks are working. Talk to your child about water safety and when in the water, always ensure “touch supervision.” If your child is under the care of a daycare provider or nanny, you may wish to require she has lifeguard training prior to taking your child in water.
5. Keep backyard tools stored away.
From rakes to grass fertilizer, lawn mowers to grills, with summer comes many backyard hazards. Take care in ensuring children stay safe by locking up gardening and landscape supplies and storing and securing barbeque grills and accessories properly. A metal rake that gets stepped on or a bag of plant food that gets eaten could make for a serious emergency.
The summer season brings many unique safety concerns. By remaining committed to safety and aware of seasonal risks, you can help keep your children safe.