How to Keep Kids Safe During the Summer Months

How to Keep Kids Safe During the Summer Months

From bug bites and allergies to trampoline, firework, and bike safety, these tips will keep your family out of the ER this summer.

Summer…the time of year most children look forward to, but with the extended time spent outdoors (and the summertime holidays), there are a lot of potential health risks associated with summer, from preventing bug bites and sunburns to staying safe while riding a bike and when using fireworks. Keeping your children safe this summer starts before even stepping outside. Make sure you take the right precautions so the fun doesn’t have to stop—well, until the kids need to come inside and get ready for bed!

These tips from The American Academy of Pediatrics will keep your children safe and happy during the warm weather. These recommendations can reduce the number of visits to urgent care or the emergency room during this season. Be safe and have fun!
    

Bug Bites & Allergy Safety

How can I reduce the risk of getting a bug bite?

  • Avoid scented soaps, perfumes, or hairsprays.
  • Avoid bright and flowery clothing.
  • Avoid areas close to stagnant water.
  • Check window screens at home for holes.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, and socks to protect against ticks when walking in woods or high grass.
          

Should I use a combination sunscreen and insect repellent?

  • No, combination sunscreen and insect repellent should be avoided.
  • Sunscreen has to be applied every 2 hours and insect repellent does not.
          

What kind of insect repellant should I use?

  • AAP recommends a repellent with 10-30 percent DEET, the most common active ingredient found in insect repellent. The length of time of effectiveness increases with the percentage of DEET in the repellant.
  • DEET should not be used for children younger than 2 months old.
  • Non-toxic lemon eucalyptus oil also works as an insect repellent.
  • Although this recommendation is not from the AAP, placing dryer sheets in your pockets when outside has also been reported as an effective alternative to insect repellent. 
         

How often should I check my children for tick bites?

How can I prevent my child from getting an allergic rash?

  • Children should be taught at as soon as possible which flowers and plants not to touch.
  • An easy rhyme for a child to remember is, “Leaves of three, don’t touch me!”
         

Bike Safety

Who needs to wear a bike helmet?

Everyone needs to wear a helmet when riding a bike. Parents should wear a helmet to set an example for their children. If your children see you wearing a helmet, they are more likely to wear one. It’s important to educate children on helmet safety to reduce the risk of head and brain injury.
     

How do I choose the proper helmet for me and my children?

  • A proper helmet fits snug on the head but isn’t tight. It should cover the forehead but won’t tip forward or backward.
  • When the straps are fastened, two fingers should be able to fit between the chin and the strap.
  • Protective gear such as wrist, elbow, and kneepads should also be worn when riding a bike.
         

Fireworks Safety

Which fireworks are safe?

Parents need to be aware that no fireworks are safe for children. Many children play with sparklers, but they can reach temperatures between 1,000-1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause severe burns, blindness, scars, and even death. It is better to take children to a professional fireworks show than to set them off at home.
     

Trampoline Safety

How safe are home trampolines?

  • Even when children are supervised by an adult while jumping on a trampoline, there is a risk of serious injury. 
  • The netting around the trampoline does not prevent injuries. In fact, most injuries occur on the trampoline and not as a result of falling off of it.
  • One child should jump at a time; 75 percent of trampoline injuries occur when more than one person is jumping at the same time.
           

Preventing Dehydration

How often should I drink water to prevent dehydration in warm weather?

  • Drinking water every 20 minutes will help prevent dehydration in warm weather. The goal is to stay hydrated to avoid overheating.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before going outside and when you’re outside.