Tips for a Happy and Healthy Summer

Summertime is here, which means kids are free from routines, homework and rules. While it’s important they enjoy their time off, too much freedom can lead to unhealthy habits. Below are tips to help your child have both a happy and healthy summer.

Nutrition and Physical Fitness – The summer months are not a time for your child to slack off from their usual activities. Make sure that they eat nutritious meals, get plenty of exercise, and the adequate amount of sleep necessary for their age.

First-Aid Kit – Keep a first-aid kit on hand that includes children’s pain medication, antiseptic cream, insect repellent, hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes, a cold pack and bandages. Keep the acronym, R.I.C.E in mind in the case of an injury – Rest, apply Ice and Compression, and keep the injured area Elevated.

Sunscreen – Make sure that your child applies a water-resistant sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB and is at least SPF 30. It should be reapplied every two hours and, as needed, when swimming.

Dehydration – Hot weather and strenuous activity can dehydrate children and cause heat-related illnesses.  Always keep water or sports drinks with electrolytes handy and remind kids to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

Bug Safety – Avoid areas where insects tend to congregate. Have children wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, as well as socks to prevent bites. Use insect repellents that contain DEET on children over two months old in order to prevent insect-related diseases.

Playgrounds – Before your child starts to play, make sure the equipment works correctly, if it burns to the touch, or has any loose or unsecured ropes. Never leave children unsupervised.

Pool Safety – Teach your child how to swim as soon as it is recommended. Regardless of a child’s swimming capabilities, never leave them alone or unsupervised, near the pool area. Keep floating devices and a portable phone nearby.

Boating Safety – Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats, docks, or near bodies of water. Make sure that they are the right size for your child and are fastened properly.

Open Waters – Do not let your child swim in canals or fast-moving waters. Do not let them dive into water unless you have checked it for depth, objects and safety. Never leave your child unsupervised, it is best that they swim only when there is a lifeguard on duty.

Summer Travel – If you are traveling, especially internationally, visit your child’s pediatrician to see if any vaccinations, flu shots, medications, or special precautions are needed for the area that you are traveling to.

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