Summer will be here before we know it. All the staff members at 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers are big fans of summer and the great recreational activities available in the Jacksonville area. This month we’ll enjoy the Memorial Day weekend for what we consider the opening of the summer season. Right now is a good time to brush up on summertime safety tips for kids.
While we welcome summer’s bright sunny days, they also pose the risk for harmful ultraviolet radiation exposure and sunburn. All kids are vulnerable to overexposure to the sun, so parents must be prepared to take the steps necessary to protect the younger children and teach older children the do’s and don’ts of sun safety.
We agree with these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and encourage you to make them a part of your summer outdoor routine.
Infants under Six Months
- Use loose, lightweight clothing for cover-ups while outdoors. Dress infants in long sleeves, long pants and brimmed hats that shade the face and neck.
- If you are in a situation where cover-ups and shade are not adequate or available, perhaps while waiting in line at a theme park, apply a small amount of sunscreen at least SPF 15 on the baby’s hands and face.
Infants and Children Older than Six Months
- Have children wear loose, lightweight clothing as cover ups.
- Use sunscreen SPF 15 or higher on exposed skin. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after a session of swimming or sweaty exercise.
- Use sunscreen on both sunny and cloudy days.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses that give 97-100 percent protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Infants and Small Children
- Since they cannot regulate their own temperature like older children and adults do, special precautions should be in place to keep them out of the heat for prolonged periods.
- Always check the back seat of your car before exiting to be sure you’ve removed the kids. Place your purse or bags in the back seat to remind you to check.
- Be especially alert when your routine changes or others are picking up or dropping off your children. Set your phone to signal you to call the daycare or child care provider to double check.
- Limit vigorous exercise to 15 minutes at a time in the hottest hours of the day – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Provide a drink every 20 minutes or remind your older children to keep a water bottle close by and drink even before they’re thirsty.
Teach children that if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseated, they should seek shade and a cool drink and notify an adult.