Keeping Your Kids healthy and injury-free in the Summer
Know what to do when your kids come running with a bruise, a burn, or a bug bite.
- Prevent. Always slather your kids with at least SPF 30 before they run out the door so it has time to sink in, and reapply every 2 hours or so. However, sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 6 months, so make sure you keep your little one in the shade. If you can, have the whole family stay in the shade from 10am - 2pm, when the sun is the strongest, or, at least throw a shirt over your kids' bathing suits during these hours.
Kids not too keen on slathering up? Make it a dance each time they have to apply, or give them a clean paint brush and let them paint themselves.
- Treat. If sunburn should occur, apply cool cloths and aloe vera gel over the affected area. Rest and keep out of the sun.
Bug Bites and Stings
- Prevent. There are now several products that combine sunscreen with bug repellent (and they don't smell all that awful). If you're eating outside, light a citronella candle. Hikes through the woods may require long sleeves and stronger repellent. When you return from a hike or walk, don't forget to check for Ticks. If you find one, see your doctor. You child may need to be tested for Lyme Disease.
- Treat. Discourage itching (yes, we know, good luck with that) and apply cold cloths, a paste of baking soda and water, or hydrocortisone cream.
If your child has been stung, remove the stinger by drawing a finger nail or a credit card across the sting, wash the area, and apply a cold compress. If your child starts wheezing, coughing, and/or breaking out in hives, he/she may be allergic and will need immediate, professional medical attention.
Cuts and Scrapes
- Prevent. Okay, so this is next to impossible. But, you can make sure your kids wear the proper protective gear - helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads - while biking or rollerblading. Also, make sure you keep an eye on your kids and break up any dangerous rough-housing.
- Treat. For cuts, apply direct pressure and clean the area with soap and water. If the cut gapes open, your child may need stitches, so call the doctor.
- Prevent. Know what it looks like - you can view pictures here. When hiking or playing in areas of dense plants where you know there is probably poison ivy, have your children wear long sleeves and pants.
- Treat. The key here is to act fast. If possible, wash the area within 10 minutes. Wash with water - no soap, as soap may spread the rash. Remove all clothes and wash separate from other clothes. To ease the symptoms, apply cold cloths or calamine lotion.