For most of us, summer is the best time of the year. But the summer heat can cause damage especially to children’s delicate skin. Here are summer safety tips for all parents to know.
Summer is amazing, with its warm weather and longer days. Children can roam around and enjoy different outdoor activities. However, too much exposure to the sun can cause damage to children’s delicate skin. Part of summer safety measures is to keep your children protected from the sun and preventing sunburns.
Unlike adultskin, children’s skin can quickly become damaged by sunrays even on a cloudy day. Children with light colored skin, blond or red hair are more prone to sunburn than those with darker skin and eyes. This is because they have less pigment called melanin that absorb and reflect the sun’s rays. However, children with darker skin still burn but just longer.
Summer safety tips for children include the following measures to prevent sunburn:
- Use appropriate sunscreen and apply over the body and face. Sunscreen is recommended to be re-applied every 2-3 hours, especially if swimming or sweating, even if the sunscreen is waterproof.
- Take extra care when swimming or boating as the sun rays are intensified when reflected from the water.
- Use tightly woven clothes so that light cannot pass through it.
- Do not go out in the sun for a very long time. Take frequent breaks by moving into the shade or going indoors.
- Avoid going out during the height of the day (11:00 am to 3:00 pm) when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Always wear a hat, with SPF factor, ear cover, and wide brim.
- Use sunglasses.
In case of sun burn, cool the area under running water for at least 10 minutes or lightly tap the area with cold wet towels for 15 minutes. Aloe Vera gel may be applied to the affected area to help soothe the pain, reduce swelling, and promote healing. Increase fluid intake. Analgesic may be given to manage pain.
Aside from sunburn, dehydration is also very common during summer. Dehydration can lead to heat-related emergencies such as heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Make sure to drink more water especially when exposed to hot weather.
Heat exhaustion can occur very rapidly, the child may have raised temperature and report feeling dizzy, sick, stomach ache, and headache. If left untreated, a child suffering from heat exhaustion can suddenly collapse. Children need to re-hydrate fast, usually with an isotonic sports drink, water or pediatric electrolyte preparations.
In order to ensure summer safety, make sure your children wear appropriate clothing, use sufficient sunscreen and drink increased amount of fluids. Have additional peace of mind by learning first aid for children. You will learn more about how you can ensure the safety of your child. There are a lot of training providers that offer first aid courses for parents and other interested participants.