Monday, June 25, 2012
Summer Safety Tips
Sun and Heat
Wear clothing that is light weight, but also provides good coverage on exposed skin. This is especially important for infants and toddlers. Hats with brims or visors that shade the face (and neck if possible) are important summer “equipment.” We can all benefit from smart summer clothing choices. Avoid prolonged exposure during peak sun hours of 10 AM to 4 PM. When playing outdoors make sure shade is available to everyone.
Good hydration is vital at all times but especially true during the summer. Offer children drinks before heading out to play and plan on several drink breaks while outdoors. Serving beverages at moderate temperature promotes greater fluid intake. Fruits, vegetables, soups and popsicles have high water content which can supplement fluid intake. Don't rely in sugary drinks for all beverage options. Encourage plenty of water. Water can be flavored with fresh fruits or veggies by floating them in a pitcher with ice water.
Bright colors, sweet drinks and food attract bees and wasps. When out at summer activities be aware of areas where bees congregate in large numbers (trash containers, food and drink stands, etc.) and avoid those area if possible. If a sting should occur remove the stinger by a gentle scrape of your fingernail or a credit card immediately. Apply a cool compress or ice to minimize the pain and swelling. Localized redness, some swelling and pain at the site are “normal” reactions. Some individuals have swelling beyond the site, but are not considered an adverse reaction. If you are uncertain call a health care professional. Watch for signs of allergic reaction which may include; difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the face/mouth/throat, wheezing or difficulty swallowing, restlessness and anxiety, rapid pulse, dizziness or sharp drop in blood pressure. Seek immediate medical attention. Self-care kits are carried by those who have allergic reactions to stings.
As a personal note, I've found that baby wipes are great at relieving the sting and cooling the site. We found this out when there was a bee sting in the car. The wipe was soothing and got us to a place with ice. Since then I always carry wipes with me.
• Water safety – constant supervision is needed by adults who have swimming and CPR skills. Be sure that floatation devices are approved and appropriate for the child.
• Window screens – make sure that screens are secure and in good condition. Remember screens do not stop falls.
• Outdoor play – supervise all play outdoors. Avoid playing in the garage without constant supervision as typical garages are full of potential hazards.