Summer time is a great time for beaches, hikes, fireworks and swimming pools! However we need to be cautious and use safety measures to keep our families safe.
Beaches are so much fun! The sand, the water, having picnics and just walking on the beach are fun. Remember these safety rules when at the beach:
- Always put on sunscreen a half hour before going into the sun. Then reapply every hour when in the water and every 2 when not in the water. (I like to reapply every hour no matter what).
- When in the water never let children in the water without an adult. I suggest life jackets for children who can’t swim. Water undertows can be very strong, a child can easily get pulled under in a split second, and if an adult is watching more than 1 child and their back is turned disaster can happen.
- Picnics are special at the beach! Make sure to bring wipes to wash hands and faces before and after eating.
- Walking along the beach is a safe and fun activity. Just beware of the undertows. Make sure to reapply sunscreen!
Hikes in the forest preserve or while camping are great ways to learn about nature and have fun.
- Sunscreen and bug spray are needed for hikes. Protection from the sun and from bugs is necessary. Some insects carry diseases and repellant is necessary.
- Make sure to carry these items in your backpack:
- Benadryl cream or medication
- Bandages of different sizes
- Alcohol wipes
- Sun screen and bug repellant
- Water to drink and wash boo-boos
- Insect bites can be itchy and annoying. Usually they are not harmful, although some children can be allergic to some bug bites. Insect repellant with DEET have been proven safe for most children. It is recommended that parents use repellant with 10% – 30% DEET concentration.
- Make sure to check for Ticks when you are done with your hike in the woods. If a tick is found the best removal technique from kidshealth.org is:
- Call your doctor, who may want you to save the tick after removal for identification as the type that may carry Lyme disease or another type of illness. You can put the tick in a sealed container to preserve it.
- Use tweezers to grasp the tick firmly at its head or mouth, next to the skin.
- Pull firmly and steadily on the tick until it lets go of the skin. If part of the tick stays in the skin, don’t worry, it will eventually come out — although you should call your doctor if you notice any irritation in the area or symptoms of Lyme disease.
- Swab the bite site with alcohol.
- If stung by a bee or wasp follow these instructions by kidshealth.org:
- A bee will usually leave behind a stinger attached to a venom sac. Try to remove it as quickly as possible using a scraping motion, without pinching the venom sac at the end. (Wasps don’t leave their stingers in the skin after stinging, which means they can sting more than once.)
- Wash the area carefully with soap and water. Do this two to three times a day until the skin is healed.
- Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or a cold, wet washcloth for a few minutes.
- Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
- For pain and itching, give an over-the-counter oral antihistamine if your child’s doctor says it’s OK; follow dosage instructions for your child’s age and weight. You could also apply a corticosteroid cream or calamine lotion to the sting area.
- A sting anywhere in the mouth needs immediate medical attention because stings in oral mucous membranes can quickly cause severe swelling that may block airways.
- Seek medical care if you notice a large skin rash or swelling around the sting site, or if swelling or pain persists for more than 3 days, which could indicate an infection.
- The following signs may indicate a serious or potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Use an epinephrine auto-injector if it’s available, and call 911 right away if you notice:
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- tightness in throat or chest
- swelling of the lips, tongue, or face
- dizziness or fainting
- nausea or vomiting
If your child has had an allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting in the past, see your doctor for a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector.
- Going to fireworks at a firework show is the safest way to go. But many families love to set them off themselves. Please take these precautions.
- Young children should not play with or light fireworks. Even Sparklers can be dangerous. Sparklers burn hot enough to melt gold!
- Please have adult supervision when using any kind of fireworks.
- Swimming pools are fun but dangerous. Please only let your children swim when adults are around. Even at a pool where a lifeguard is on duty children drown. Drowning is a silent event that effects to many people. All children should take swim lessons. Please check with your local Park District or YMCA for classes. Many places even have scholarships. Don’t forget sunscreen!
Have fun and be safe this summer!