Summertime, summertime, sum-sum summertime! It’s time to go over some important summer safety information. The website www.healthychildren.org is a really good resource for this, and I’ll give you some safety highlights from this site.
Bug safety: don’t use scented soaps, or sprays on your child, or dress them in bright colors or flowery prints, as these things might attract some varmints. Avoid areas where insects might go, such as sitting pools of water, uncovered food or gardens with flowering plants. Use insect repellents containing DEET for kids over 2 months of age. DEET can come in different strengths. Choose the lowest concentration that will give the best coverage. Ten percent DEET provides protection for about 2 hours and 30% DEET protects for about 5 hours. Wash off the repellents when returning home. The best protection is to wear light-weight long sleeves and pants and socks. Spraying the back of the clothing can prevent actual skin contact.
Sun exposure: Again, the light-weight long sleeves and pants are the best protection. Wearing a wide brimmed hat, and use of sunscreen up to SPF 15 is recommended for kids over 6 months of age. Avoid much sun exposure for those under 6 months. Wearing sunglasses with protection for UV A and B rays in children old enough to allow it safely, is a good habit for kids to develop. Enjoy those lazy, hazy days of summer!
Playground Safety: Even at your own home, it is good to check your child’s play area and play equipment. Be sure all the bolts and screws are good and tight, and that there are no protruding bolt-ends, or open “S” hooks. Be sure the swing seats are of good construction. The rubber and plastic or canvas ones show fewer injuries. Make sure your child can’t reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap little fingers, or even an arm or leg. To avoid strangulation issues, don’t allow any ropes or leashes to be attached to the equipment. Be sure your child isn’t wearing anything looped around the neck that could get caught, causing strangulation. This could include a hat, or even helmet, or possibly large jewelry.
Don’t allow playing barefoot on the playground. Many playgrounds will have a safety mat or loose-fill material like shredded rubber, sand, wood chips or bark. There are recommended depths for these materials, depending on the type of material. It is suggested that these protective surfaces be installed at least 6 feet in all directions from the equipment. Remember that some products get very hot under direct sunlight and can cause burns, like on slides. If your child is using a commercial trampoline, be sure the rules are followed and there is proper supervision. It isn’t recommended for more than 1 child to be on the trampoline at a time for most spontaneous play, as kids can get distracted in the play setting, and are more likely to have injuries. Be sure the trampoline is level. Nets don’t prevent all injuries, so supervision is still imperative. Enjoy those lazy, hazy days of summer! Give that kid a hug