Think About It Thursday- Summer Safety

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This technically shouldn’t be up until tomorrow but being it’s pretty much an outdoor holiday I wanted to get it up tonight.

It’s summer time and I don’t know about you but this time of year my kids and I are ALWAYS outside. Keeping your kids safe in the sun and heat should take priority. In this post I’ll go over ways to keep your LOs skin safe in the sun and also all about heat illnesses, what to look for and how to prevent it.

Keeping your child’s skin protected from the suns UV rays is a must. The ultraviolet rays put off by the sun are strongest and can cause the most harm in midday. Did you know it only takes fifteen minutes for unprotected skin to be damaged but it takes a full twelve hours for your skin to fully show how it’s been affected? It is definitely easier to protect your child’s skin than it is to take care of a painful burn. Here are some ways to keep your LO safe in the sun.

*Plan outdoor time in early day or late afternoon.
*Always use the correct SPF for your child’s age, applying 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapplying throughout the day.
*Also you can double protect your child if they will wear a hat and sunglasses.

Lastly it’s good to remember that sunscreen is not meant as an excuse to be able to keep your child in the sun longer, his/her best defense against a sunburn is staying in the shade.

Monitoring your child’s heat exposure during the hot, summer months is also a highly important issue. When temperatures reach unusual highs or if it is extremely humid where you live your childs body is at risk of having its natural heat defense system (sweating) fail. When this happens your child can easily fall victim to heat illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Although heat cramps can be quite painful they are not serious and can be reconciled by finding a cool resting place and drinking fluids. The second form, heat exhaustion is more severe and can be recognized by the following symptoms:

*dehydration
*fatigue
*clammy skin
*headache
*nausea/vomiting
*hyperventilation
*irritability

If you notice any of the above, immediately take your child into a cool, shady area. Loosen or remove his/her clothes and encourage them to drink and eat. Giving the child a cool (NOT COLD) bath may also be helpful. Always be sure to call your child’s pediatrician as well, as medical attention may be necessary. Heatstroke is the last and most severe form of heat illness and can result in brain damage or death. Immediate medical attention is required. Symptoms of heat stroke include

*flushed, hot, dry skin (with no sweating)
*temperature of 105· or higher
*severe headache
*weakness
*dizziness/confusion
*fatigue
*seizure
*decreased responsiveness
*loss of consciousness

If you suspect your child maybe suffering from heat stroke call 911 immediately, while you’re waiting for them to arrive undress him/her and give a cool spongebath. DO NOT GIVE DRINKING FLUIDS!

To recap, in order to help prevent any of the conditions we’ve covered just make sure to follow these tips:

~ Apply and reapply sunscreen
~Keep your child well hydrated
~Dress them in light, loose clothes
~Also Please NEVER leave your little one in a hot car

I would like to add that I am not a medical professional and you should always call your child’s pediatrician first if you suspect something is wrong with your child.

Sources:
kidshealth.org
cdc.gov

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