Make Summer Safe for Kids

Summertime in Florida means it’s time for grilling, going to the beach, and enjoying the cool summer evenings outside with your family. It also means it’s time to stock up on supplies to keep your children and family safe while enjoying our beautiful summer weather. Sunscreen, bug repellant, and staying hydrated are all important to ensuring that your children stay safe while spending time outside.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infants and children under the age of 4 are the most susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Some simple precautions you can take are:

  •  Dress infants in cool, lightweight, light-colored clothing
  •  Schedule outdoor activities carefully, for morning and evening hours
  •  Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open1

Daytime outdoor activities (especially in the summer) can present opportunities for sunburn, which leads to an increase in the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Always use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 that includes protection from Ultraviolet A & B (UVA/UVB). Throughout the day, and especially in the evening, stinging insects such as mosquitoes and ticks may  also bite you or your children. These insects spread diseases such as West Nile, Zika, and Lyme Disease1. Use an effective insect repellant to avoid being bitten while playing outside, and be sure to check for ticks as well. It is very important to remember: if you or your child is bitten by a tick- do not simply pull it out. This will leave the head embedded in the skin and make removal more difficult. Simply call your pediatrician for instructions on safe tick removal, or for an appointment to have it removed in-office.

Cooling off in the pool is a great way to beat the summer heat, and pool safety is absolutely essential when it comes to the health and safety of your children. Always be sure to supervise your child while they are playing outside and under no circumstances, ever leave them unattended near a pool or other body of water.

Finally, the best way to prevent injuries while playing outside is to make sure the areas in which they are playing are safe. Over 200,000 children under the age of 14 are treated in the Emergency Department every year for playground-related injuries1. By inspecting the playground equipment and surface to ensure it is well maintained and hazard free, you can help lessen the chance of accidental injury. For more information and links to other safety preparation tips, please visit the CDC’s web page on summer safety for children at: www.cdc.gov/family/kids/summer/index.htm