Summer safety tips for parents

by Ann Marie Wieringa, Public Health Nurse

As the weather gets warmer, playing at the beach, water park, lake, or in a pool can be a delight on a hot day. However, too much sun can be harmful to your child and a sunburn can happen in as little as 15 minutes. Also, drowning is the 2nd leading cause of death in children and can happen in as little as one inch of water.

Here are some tips to keep your children safe this summer.

Fun in the Sun

Prevent your child from getting a sunburn by avoiding sun exposure, especially during the peak intensity hours of 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Ages 0-6 months – babies’ skin is not fully developed yet and the sun can be more dangerous for them than for older children and adults.

    • Keep babies in a covered stroller, under an umbrella or in the shade
    • Dress infants in lightweight long pants, sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck
    • It is not recommended to use sunscreen on babies under 6 months of age

Ages 6 months and up

    • Use sunscreen that is SPF30 or higher with UVA/UVB protection
    • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours; more often if swimming or sweating
    • Don’t forget important areas such as nose, ears, neck, back of legs and tops of feet
    • Do not use sunscreen containing insect repellant

Water Safety

Drowning can happen where you’d least expect it. Always watch children closely when they are in or near any water.

  • Keep children within an arm’s reach
  • Young children and inexperienced swimmers should always wear a Canadian approved lifejacket or personal flotation device when playing around water
  • Teach children water safety rules; sign them up for swimming and water safety programs
    •  Adults can sign up for a First Aid/CPR course
    • If you own a pool, build a 4-sided fence around the pool to prevent a drowning accident

 

Apply your sunscreen, put on your sunglasses and hat and enjoy playing safely in the water with family and friends! For more information contact the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit at 519.352.7270.

 

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