With school being out and temperatures on the rise, kids will be spending the majority of their time outside – 8 to 10+ hours per day. Whether they’re taking bike trips through the neighborhood, hanging out at the pool, or playing sports, you can count on a fair amount of sunburns, bumps, scrapes, bruises, and more.
We all want to make sure that our kids are safe! With the right tools and preparation, summer can be a relaxing and safe experience for your family. The following tips will help you prevent a few summer mishaps.
1. Sunburn –
One of summer’s most common injuries, sunburn occurs most often between 10 am and 4 pm. Apply a good sports sunscreen with sweat/water resistant properties at least 30 minutes before going outside. The AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) recommends an SPF of 30 or higher to prevent sunburn and reduce risk of skin cancer. Choose a sunscreen that protects against UVA & UVB rays.
2. Heat Exhaustion –
When exposed to extended periods of high heat, bodies can get overheated – even more quickly for little bodies. Organized sports are a common cause of heat related illnesses in kids. Mayo Clinic offers some advice on how to handle youth sports and extreme heat. With high humidity and a heat index of 91 F or higher, take precautions to keep cool: drink lots of fluids, sports drinks will replace electrolytes, bucket of ice water with cool rags, shade, fans, and take lots of breaks.
3. Hydration –
If you’re ‘feeling’ thirsty, did you know that you’re already mildly dehydrated? Don’t rely on how you feel to determine whether you need to drink fluids. Make sure fluids are always available on hot days and remind your kids often to drink. Give them a water bottle while playing outside. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice for hydrating. Sports drinks and water are the best source to prevent dehydration.
4. Bites & Stings –
If you’re outside, it’s unavoidable! Use repellants to drive off bothersome bugs and stinging pests. Repellants with up to 50% DEET are the most effective concentrations but most resources suggest a concentration of 30% and less for children. Use on clothes and shoes but not directly on faces or hands. There are DEET free options such as picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus which you can try to test effectiveness. For stings, scrape stingers away in a side-to-side motion with a straight edged object to avoid embedding further into the skin. After the stinger is out, wash with soap and water, ice it down, and use ibuprofen or hydrocortisone to reduce pain and itchiness.
5. Poisonous Plants –
As with the bugs, there are also some plants that can hurt your children and cause some extreme discomfort. Educate your kids on how to identify poison ivy, poison oak and sumac. Let them know where it most commonly grows in your neighborhood. They secrete an oil which causes an allergic reaction when it comes in contact with skin. The best home remedy for relief is through cool showers, oatmeal baths, and oatmeal compresses.
6. Playground Safety –
Every year, kids visit the emergency room with playground related injuries which could have been prevented with precaution and adult supervision. Know your playground equipment! In your neighborhood as well as parks, take a quick walk around and inspect the equipment for rust and damage. Avoid parks and equipment with visual signs of neglect.
7. Water Safety –
Unfortunately, drowning is the second leading cause of death in children 14 and under. Children must be closely supervised at all times around water – no exceptions. Teach children to swim at a young age. Knowing how to swim and float gives them an advantage in the water. While boating, always wear appropriately fitted life jackets. Poolsafely.gov provides a great resource on pool safety and how to better protect your children.
8. Inclement Weather –
Thunder, lightning, damaging winds, hail and flooding can all lead to dangerous situations and serious injuries. Kids need to learn how to visually identify serious weather conditions and how to be safe. Ready.gov has a great kid-friendly resource to help teach older children what to look for and how to react. If your child has a cell phone, download a weather app for severe weather alerts. WeatherBug has a great app with pop ups and noise alerts.
9. Tornadoes –
Tornadoes are most common between March and August. They contribute to nature’s most violent storms with winds reaching up to 300 mph. Teach kids how to take action if they’re outside and unable to get home. According to Ready.gov, there are a few crucial things they should know to keep safe.
- If the child has a cell phone, have an emergency contact plan in place
- Find shelter at a well-known friend or neighbor’s home and go into the safest room
- If there’s not a safe indoor option, get into a vehicle, buckle the seatbelt and cover your head
- If there’s no vehicle or shelter, try to find a ditch or area lower and lie down
10. CPR & First Aid –
Last but not least, every parent should learn CPR and basic First Aid. There’s nothing worse than being in a situation which needs immediate response, and people standing around panicking because no one knows what to do. With quick intervention, those skills could make all the difference. Drowning, burns, deep cuts, bleeding, choking, asthma or anaphylaxis attack are all real situations that can be affectively treated if you have even basic training. Get educated parents! The Red Cross has an excellent resource you can download on Pediatric First Aid/CPR. They may also offer CPR and First Aid classes near you.
Safety For All
Malark Logistics is dedicated to the safety of everyone, especially in the workplace. If you have any questions about following proper protocol for warehouse and workplace safety, please contact us or call 800.441.2624. We’re standing by – 365/24/7.