It's that time of year again — fun days at the pool and summer camp are upon us.
Summer is a great time to be outside enjoying the warm sunny weather, and it can be even better when everyone is safe! Sunburn and dehydration are two words you do not want in your sun-day, fun-day vocabulary. Here are a few things to watch out for this summer and how to keep your kids safe:
"Shade" Your Kids from Harm
Sunscreen is a must for your kids whenever they are outside. The sun's harmful rays can cause sunburn, sun poisoning, or even skin cancer if you are not careful. Lather your kids up with sunscreen 15-30 minutes before you venture outside, with at least SPF 30. Children's skin is delicate and they are more prone to the negative effects of the sun. Dress infants and young children in loose, light clothing and a hat. The sun is not as strong in the morning and evening, so try scheduling activities for earlier or later in the day and stay in the shade between 10 am and 4 pm, when the UV rays are strongest.
"Splash" Away Water Hazards
Swimming is a terrific way to stay cool on a hot summer day. Signing your kids up for swimming lessons is one way to ensure they know how to stay afloat while having fun. For children who do not know how to swim, make sure that an adult is present in the pool to keep a close watch. Children (and those who do not know how to swim) should use flotation devices, such as life jackets or arm "floats," to help them stay above the water.
Staying hydrated is extremely important as the temperatures rise. Send a water bottle with your kids when they go to camp or play outside. Though lying by the pool may not seem like a "dehydrating activity," chlorine and salt water actually make you very thirsty. Grab your kids for a quick break in between pool games and have them take a sip or two of water or lemonade.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Going to the shore is a staple of any summer vacation. When walking on the boardwalk, go with your kids or send them with a buddy. It's easy to get lost among the crowd, so equip your children with their house or hotel address so they know how to get back if they get lost or separated.
If you decide to take a quick dip in the ocean, swim only where lifeguards are present. Pay attention to the warnings posted by lifeguards and avoid going into the ocean alone.
It's important to know what to do in the event of dangerous waters, including a riptide — hold your breath and remain calm. If possible, try to swim horizontally along the shoreline while under the riptide, and once you are out of harsh water, swim toward the shore.
About Pediatric Services
Doylestown Health is committed to providing family-centered children's services to Bucks and Montgomery County communities. The Carol and Louis Della Penna Pediatric Center offers expert inpatient care to all ages including infants, children and teens. Della Penna Pediatric Center Services extend beyond the hospital setting to include health and wellness education, nutrition services and other support services.