Whether your kids are home for summer or on the road with you, use these tips to keep your family safe and healthy.
Fun in the Sun
- Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of the direct sunlight. Move your baby to the shade or under a tree, umbrella, or the pram canopy.
- Dress babies in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs and use brimmed hats.
- Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside, and use sunscreen even on cloudy days.
- The sun protection factor (SPF) should be at least SPF 40.
- Try to keep children out of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm, that’s when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child as these products may attract stinging insects.
- Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
- Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints as the bright colors attract stinging insects such as bees and wasps.
- To remove a visible insect stinger from skin, gently scrape it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail. You can also remove a stinger by pinching it out with a pair of tweezers or your fingers.
- To protect against ticks, especially when playing or hiking in woods or fields with long grass:
- Have children wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Tuck clothing into pants and pant cuffs into socks.
- At the end of the day, check your child’s whole body for ticks.
- Carefully maintain all equipment.
- Swings should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic, or canvas.
- Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.
- Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent childrens’ legs from getting burned.
- If you are getting a pet as a companion for your child, wait until your child is mature enough to handle and care for the animal – usually around age five or six.
- Never leave your infant or young child alone with any dog.
- Teach your child some basic safety precautions for dealing with dogs outside your home, such as not surprising or scaring a dog or never approaching an unfamiliar dog.
- Instruct your child to stand still if approached or chased by a strange dog. Tell your child not to run, kick or make threatening gestures. Your child should face the dog and back away slowly until he or she is out of reach.
- Contact your pediatrician whenever your child receives an animal bite that breaks the skin, no matter how minor the injury appears. The doctor will need to check whether your child has been adequately immunized against tetanus.
- When your child is ready to roll, make sure they:
- Always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter and skateboard or roller blading.
- Wear knee and elbow pads for scooter riding, and add wrist guards for roller blading or skateboarding.
- Ride a bike that fits them.
For family bike rides
- Children under 1 shouldn’t ride as passengers on adult bikes.
- Children ages 1 to 4 (or less than 40 pounds) should ride belted and wearing a helmet. They ride best in a carrier seat mounted on the bike or in a bike trailer.
- Children follow your lead, so always wear a helmet when you ride!
Have fun and enjoy your family time together this summer!