Ask a child of any age what their favorite season is, and chances are pretty high that they won't hesitate to say summer. In addition to the obvious freedom from school and homework (unless, of course you're in year-round school!), the summer months are usually filled with sports and outdoor activities, camping, and long days spent with friends and siblings at the beach.
With the extra time spent outdoors comes the risk of sunburn, mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases, and heat stroke. But parents don't have to let fear get in the way of their children's summer fun. With a few common sense precautions, parents can both keep their children safe, and allow them to enjoy everything that the carefree summer months have to offer.
Summer Safety Tips for Parents in Raleigh, NC
The pediatricians at Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC recommend a few basic safety measures for children and adolescents when spending time relaxing and playing outside:
- Always wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days, when the sun's rays are still strong enough to cause a sunburn. Use an SPF between 15 and 50 (higher than 50 is not better), look for water resistant products, and reapply (on dry skin) at least every 2 hours (or every hour if swimming). Consider swim shirts in the water - and remind your kids that the risk of sunburn is greatest when their shadow is shorter than they are.
- Remember to protect your kids against those vicious North Carolina mosquitos which should come out any day now. Insects containing DEET, at a concentration of 10 to 30% are generally safe in kids as young as 6 months old. Remember that you can spray their clothes and stroller also - this minimizes the amount of repellent you need to put on your child's skin. Repellents with picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus can work too, but they may not provide protection for quite as long. Avoiding dawn and dusk, and avoiding bright colored clothing can help a bit also.
- Drink plenty of water - dehydration is a common cause for visits to the pediatrician and even the emergency room in extreme cases. Staying properly hydrated with water and electrolyte containing drinks during hot, high activity days is very important.
Contact a Pediatrician in Raleigh, NC
For more tips on keeping your children healthy and safe during the summer, or to schedule a check up, contact Carolina Kids Pediatrics at (919) 881-9009.