Summer Safety Tips: Sun and Water Safety... Read More
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Summer Safety Tips: Sun and Water Safety
Keep your family safe this summer by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Fun in the Sun
Babies under 6 months:
To prevent sunburn the AAP recommends that infants avoid sun exposure, and are dressed in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant's face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets a sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area. See Baby Sunburn Prevention for more information.
For all other children:
The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) avoiding sun exposure by covering up. Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours - between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave.
On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
Be sure to apply enough sunscreen -- about one ounce per application for a young adult.
Reapply sunscreen every two hours, and after swimming or sweating.
Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.
Heat Stress in Exercising Children
The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.
At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of outdoor activities should start low and then gradually increase over 7 to 14 days to acclimate to the heat, particularly if it is very humid.
Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.
Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and there should be more frequent water/hydration breaks. Children should promptly move to cooler environments if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseated.
Never leave children alone in or near water, even for a moment; close supervision by a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning in children.
Less experienced swimmers and children under age 5 in or around water should have an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – within arm's length, providing "touch supervision."
Never swim alone. Even good swimmers need buddies!
Designate a "water watcher" when you are in, on or around water.
Because drowning can be quick and quiet, the water watcher should pay constant attention, be undistracted, not involved in any other activity such as reading, playing cards, on the phone, while supervising children, even if lifeguards are present.