When summer arrives, children are eager to get outside and enjoy outdoor activities. Unfortunately, some of these activities may involve increased risk of injuries. If you have children that enjoy biking, swimming, sports, playing at the playground, ATV riding and other activities, you should be prepared to take action when injuries occur. Here are some of the most common injuries doctors see during the summer months.
Before your child goes out to play, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. A number of products are formulated especially for children with a higher SPF level. A hat will help to shield the face from the sun’s rays. Take along a long-sleeved shirt in a lightweight material to pop on your child if you expect to be in the sun for an extended period of time. This measure can help to prevent painful sunburns.
Cuts and Scrapes
Outdoor play often leads to minor cuts and scrapes. Keep plenty of Band-Aids on hand, as well as antiseptic creams. Flush the injury with clean water and dry before applying a bandage. For deep cuts or severe scrapes, seek medical attention.
Falls pose another problem when children are at playgrounds. If your child has a fall and you suspect a broken bone, get medical attention immediately. Your physician will do an X-ray to determine the extent of the break and determine what type of treatment is required.
Summer also means an increase in the number of insects your child may encounter. Before your child goes outside, apply insect repellent to clothing to protect them from mosquito bites. If your child is allergic to bees, make sure you have an epi-pen on hand and your child knows how to use it to prevent a breathing emergency.
Anyone who has a swimming pool must strongly vigilant about drowning dangers, not only to your own children but also to children that are visiting your home or live in the neighborhood. Pool fencing is mandatory in most communities and must be secured with locks that are not easily opened by small children. A number of different types of alarm systems are available that will alert you if a child falls into the water. Children under the age of 12 should not be allowed in the pool without adult supervision. When spending time at the beach or at the lake, you should monitor children in the water closely at all times. Floating toys are not suitable as life preservers. Their use should be carefully monitored by parents.
Summer offers long days and more opportunities to spend time outdoors. However, this can also mean a greater risk for children’s injuries. Make sure your child understands basic rules of safety and is able to recognize situations that may pose a danger. When injuries occur, get treatment immediately, so your child can get back outdoors and enjoy the summer weather.