By Healthy Families BC
You may have noticed. It’s hot outside! There is a good chance your family’s summer calendar is filling up with backyard barbeques, days cooling off at the local swimming hole, and camping trips. Make the most out of this summer bliss – keep the whole family safe while out in the sun and avoid heat-illness. Here are tips to help.
Prevent Kids From Getting Hurt While Playing Outside
Outdoor play is a big part of healthy growth and development for your child. Summertime gives them the opportunity to do just that – spend time outside exploring and having adventures. A few tips that will help keep them safe:
- Never allow young children who can’t swim out of arm’s reach around a pool or body of water, even with a lifejacket. Read more about toddler safety near swimming pools and ponds.
- For kids that can swim, use the “buddy system” and make sure they know to never swim alone. More safety tips for swimmers.
- Look to make sure the environment your child is playing in is safe and that they have the right equipment and skills to play safely. Learn more.
Protect Kids From Skin Damage
Children and infants have sensitive skin. It’s vital to protect them from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer and prevent damage. Advice for each age:
- Find or create shade and try to keep babies under 12 months old out of the sun, in particular between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun is strongest. Read more.
- Dress babies and toddlers in a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and clothes that cover most of their skin. Read more.
- Teach school-age children how to protect themselves when out in the sun. Use these tips.
- Make sure teens know the facts about sun safety and indoor tanning. The sun can cause premature aging and, contrary to common belief, a tan does not provide enough protection against the sun’s rays.
Stay safe from the sun no matter how old you are by following the 4-S protection system: Seek shade. Slip on a shirt. Slap on a hat. Slop on the sunscreen. Learn more about sun safety.
Skip Sugary Drinks and Offer Kids Water
When children drink plenty of water regularly throughout the day, they stay hydrated. This is especially important in hot weather. A few points to keep in mind:
- Avoid sugary drinks like pop, fruit drinks, vitamin enhanced waters, flavored waters, energy drinks and sports drinks. Read these tips for help encouraging kids to drink and enjoy water.
- If your child is thirsty it means they are already dehydrated (same goes for you!). Being dehydrated on a daily basis can increase the stress on your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Use this advice to stay hydrated.
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