Pool Safety: Tips for a Safe Summer for Children (cont.)

Fun in the Sun

  • Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of the direct sunlight. Move your baby to the shade or under a tree, umbrella, or the stroller canopy.

  • Dress babies in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs and use brimmed hats.

  • Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside, and use sunscreen even on cloudy days.

  • The sun protection factor (SPF) should be at least SPF 15.

  • Try to keep children out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., that's when the sun's rays are strongest.

Bug Safety

  • Don't use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child as these products may attract stinging insects.

  • Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.

  • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints as the bright colors attract stinging insects such as bees and wasps.

  • To remove a visible insect stinger from skin, gently scrape it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail. You can also remove a stinger by pinching it out with a pair of tweezers or your fingers.

Playground Safety

  • Carefully maintain all equipment.

  • Swings should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic, or canvas.

  • Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.

  • Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent childrens' legs from getting burned.

Dog Bites

  • If you are getting a pet as a companion for your child, wait until your child is mature enough to handle and care for the animal - usually around age five or six.

  • Never leave your infant or young child alone with any dog.

  • Teach your child some basic safety precautions for dealing with dogs outside your home, such as not surprising or scaring a dog or never approaching an unfamiliar dog.

  • Instruct your child to stand still if approached or chased by a strange dog. Tell your child not to run, kick or make threatening gestures. Your child should face the dog and back away slowly until he or she is out of reach.

  • Contact your pediatrician whenever your child receives an animal bite that breaks the skin, no matter how minor the injury appears. The doctor will need to check whether your child has been adequately immunized against tetanus.

Travel Safety

  • Buckle up car seats and seat belts.

  • Keep children entertained with car games, activity books and story tapes.

  • Make periodic stops along the way.

  • Keep supplies with you, such as snacks, water, a first aid kit and any medicines your child takes.

  • Always use a car seat, starting with your baby's first ride home from the hospital. Help your child form a lifelong habit of buckling up.

  • Read the manufacturer's instructions and always keep them with the car seat.

  • Read your vehicle owner's manual for more information on how to install the car seat.

  • Put your child in the back seat. It is the safest place in the car because it is farthest away from a head-on crash (the most common type of crash).

  • The harness system holds your child in the car seat and the seat belts hold the seat in the car. Attach both snugly to protect your child.

  • Children in rear-facing car seats should never be placed in a front seat equipped with an air bag.

  • Children traveling alone to visit relatives or attend summer camp should have a copy of their medical information with them at all times.

SOURCES:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Center for Disease Control (CDC)


Last Editorial Review: 7/8/2009