House Call: Summer Safety for Kids

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:20 PM EDT
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Summer is a great time for kids to enjoy different indoor and outdoor activities. Whether they are young children or teens, learn ways to keep your kids safe and healthy while they enjoy the summer fun. Joining us for this week’s House Call is Dr. Parth Bhatt, pediatrician at Bridgeport Pediatrics.

1). So, doctor, water-related activities are popular with kids of all ages and have many health benefits, what are some tips for staying safe this summer?

Drownings rank fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. Every day, as a result of an accidental drowning, two children die age 14 or younger. Parents should always…

· Supervise children when in or around water and a responsible adult should be present while constantly watching them swim

· Teach kids how to swim-formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning

· Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

· Install a four-sided fence around home pools

2). Falls at home and on the playground are a common cause of injury, how can we reduce or prevent these injuries from occurring?

It is important for parents to do the following:

· Check to make sure that the surfaces under playground equipment are safe, soft, and well maintained—you want to ensure that soft materials are used such as wood chips, sand, or mulch.

· Read playground signs and use playground equipment that is right for your child’s age

· Make sure there are guardrails in good condition to help prevent falls.

· Look out for things in the play area that can trip your child, like tree stumps or rocks.

3). What would your advice be for parents or guardians of children who are active in the sun this summer?

Infants and children up to four years of age are at the greatest risk.

· Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open

· Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing

· Schedule outdoor activities carefully, preferably for morning and evening hours

· Take cool showers or baths

· Seek medical care immediately if your child has symptoms of heat-related illness

Sunburns can increase you and your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they are outdoors.

· Cover up. Clothing that covers you and your child’s skin helps protect against UV rays.

· Use sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 and UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) protection every time you and your child go outside.

4). Can helmets help to prevent concussions?

Let me first define what a concussion is. It is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain functions. Concussions can occur in any sport or recreational activity.

While there is no concussion-proof helmet, a helmet can help protect your child or teen from a serious brain or head injury. Even with a helmet, it is important for your child or teen to avoid hits to the head. However, helmets should be:

· Well maintained

· Age appropriate

· Worn consistently and correctly

· Appropriately certified for use

You can watch the video from the CDC on “Heads Up on Helmets”. It will help you to ensure the proper fit of your child’s helmet.

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