Summer is a great time of year to make memories with your children. But summer is also filled with many preventable injuries. Here’s how we can protect our children while having fun in the sun:
Sunscreen – Select a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on children older than 6 months of age. Reapply at least every two hours. If you do have an infant joining in the fun, try to keep them in the shade. If this is not possible, dress them in lightweight, long-sleeve shirts, pants and a wide-brimmed hat.
Mosquito Repellent – For children two months and older, DEET it up. Applying bug spray with DEET is the best way to protect yourself and your children from bites and associated diseases. This has been proven safe and effective against many different insects including mosquitos and ticks. For children under two months of age, netting around baby strollers and carriers can be helpful.
Life Jackets – Drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children. It’s lake season and keeping an eye on children swimming in a lake or pool can be difficult during family get togethers as people get distracted from watching the kids. It is preferable to have an adult in the water with them, and if this is not possible, to designate a specific person to be “in charge”. Always have young children who cannot swim in life jackets when around water, even if they are not planning to swim.
Helmets – Helmets are an easy way to protect against head and brain injury. We encourage everyone to wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter, skateboard, or skating. Having a properly fitting helmet is important. Use the strap adjustments and pads provided in the helmet to ensure a proper fit. The helmet should rest low on the forehead just above the eyebrows with a Y under each earlobe with the straps. The chin strap is tight enough when the helmet pulls down, when you open your mouth, and loose enough if you can insert a finger in between the buckle and the chin. Safe Kids Grand Forks is an excellent resource for how to keep kids safe in the summer, and throughout the year.
Fire safety – Make sure to have adult supervision and ground rules about safety for children around a campfire. Avoid liquid accelerants.
We all do our best to try and prevent injuries from happening, but accident happen. If you have a child that experiences any one of these injuries, the physicians at Altru Family Medicine Residency are happy to see and treat them.
-Dr. Elizabeth Gray
Altru Family Medicine Residency trains 24 bright, engaging, young physicians with eleven faculty committed to providing comprehensive medical care including, but not limited to, obstetrical, childcare, sports medicine, dermatology or general medicine. We are here for you, would love to treat you and are anxious to respond to your family’s needs from cradle to grave.