Pediatric Summer Safety
Transitioning from the busy school year into the dog days of summer can be an exciting time for children and their families. However, the fun that comes with summer activities can often lead to unexpected ED visits. ED Physician and Division Chief of Pediatric Medicine David Dorfman, MD, wants to remind you to stay safe this summer, whether you’re at the beach, in the pool, or in your own backyard.
Protect Yourself While in the Sun
Heat related illnesses are very common in the summer months. Prolonged or intense exposure to hot temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke. These occur when the body’s ability to cool itself is overwhelmed. Infants and young children are at highest risk. There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your children:
- Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing.
- Schedule outdoor activities for the coolest times of day (morning and evening).
- Stay cool with showers and baths and go under shade or indoors during the hottest part of the day.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Never leave infants or young children in parked cars, even with the windows cracked open
- Apply sunscreen of SPF 15 or more every time you go outside especially between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM when sunlight is at its strongest. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming.
Water activities are a popular way to have fun while keeping cool on hot days. It’s important to always ensure that children are supervised while in a pool, lake or in the ocean. If boating, children should always wear a life jacket.
- Young children should have constant adult supervision when swimming.
- Teach your kids to swim. Formal swim lessons lead to a lifetime of fun, safe water exercise.
- If you own a home pool or outdoor hot tub, make sure it is enclosed by a fence.
- Wear well-fitting life preservers when boating.