Posts for category: Child Safety
Keep your child safe while enjoying fun in the sun.
School’s out for summer, and your child may be gearing up for outdoor adventures, summer camps, swim team, and other activities. Of course, keeping your child safe is of the utmost importance to all parents and pediatricians. Here are some helpful tips to keep your little one safe all summer long.
Recognize Signs of Heat Exhaustion
When kids get dehydrated, which is quite common on hot summery days, they are more at risk of heatstroke and exhaustion. By recognizing the symptoms of heat exhaustion in your children, you’ll be able to bring them indoors and prevent them from developing heat stroke (which can be incredibly dangerous, especially for young children). Signs of heat exhaustion include,
- Body temperature between 100 and 104 F
- Increased thirst and sweating
- Clammy, cool skin
When you notice these symptoms, it’s essential that you bring your child into a cool place and make sure that they drink lots of liquids to stay hydrated. You can also help lower their body temp by applying cool compresses to their skin.
Keep Kids Protected from the Sun
Sunscreen isn’t just for adults; it’s also for kids. Just one sunburn can increase your child’s risk for skin cancer in the future. That’s why it’s important that you have them lather up with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
It’s important that you apply a generous amount to their face and body about 30 minutes before going outside. If they are going to be playing or swimming outdoors, it’s essential that they reapply immediately after coming out of the way or if they are sweating.
Know Water and Swimming Safety
Summer often means a lot of time spent in the pool or by the water. While the water can be a ton of fun for kids, it’s also important that they practice proper water safety habits to prevent drowning and other accidents. Make sure to keep an eye on your child, even if there is a lifeguard on duty. If your child is new to swimming, you may want to enroll them in a swim class that can help them develop strong swimming skills.
Keep Bug Bites at Bay
Along with protecting your child from the sun’s powerful rays, you must also protect them from mosquitos and other pests that could sting or bite them outdoors. Apply insect repellent before your child goes outside. There are many insect repellent options on the market these days, some of which are made from DEET-free and natural ingredients that are safe for all ages. Ask your child’s pediatrician if you are unsure which insect repellent is safe for them.
Summertime is the best time to be a kid, and these helpful tips will ensure a smart, safe, and fun season for the whole family. Don’t forget to schedule your child’s back-to-school physical with your pediatrician, especially before the sports season begins.
What is considered a fever?
A healthy body temperature is 98.6 F; however, many things can elevate a person’s temperature including intense exercise, so not all temperature fluctuations mean that your child is sick; however, an illness or infection can certainly shift your body’s temperature as it works to fight off the bacteria or virus.
What can cause a fever?
There are quite a few reasons why your child might be dealing with a fever. Some common causes include:
- Viral infections (e.g. cold; flu)
- Bacterial infections
- Severe sunburns
- Heat exhaustion or heat stroke
- Inflammatory health problems
- Side effects of certain medications
A fever that develops in an infant (babies under 3 months old) is often a far more serious matter than fevers in children. If your infant develops a fever of 100.4 F or over, it’s highly recommended that you bring them to your pediatrician right away for care.
When to seek medical attention for your child’s fever?
By the age of 3 years old, most children will have developed at least one fever. While some fevers won’t be anything to worry about and will go away on their own, it is important to know when your child’s fever requires medical attention. You should call your pediatrician if:
- Your child’s fever persists for more than 5 days
- The fever is over 104 F
- Your child has symptoms of dehydrated
- Medications aren’t helping to reduce their fever
How to Keep Kids Safe When Biking
There are a few ways that your pediatrician recommends for teaching bicycle safety to your children:
- Help your kids stay visible to drivers: There are a few factors that can cause a driver not to view your child on a road, aside from texting while driving. Children are usually lower in a driver's sightlines, and they are also vying for a driver’s attention among many other road distractions such as traffic signals, construction, and more. By clothing your children in bright colors, or even having them wear a brightly colored safety vest while riding, you can call a driver’s attention to their presence, thus avoiding an accident. Also, be sure that your child’s bike has reflectors on the rear and front of the pedals and possibly on the seat and handlebars.
- Encourage your child to wear a bike helmet. Helmets can protect the brain and reduce head injuries should they accidentally be hit by a driver. A properly fitting helmet should be buckled under the chin, and shouldn’t wiggle more than an inch when worn.
- Teach your kids to be proactive cyclists. When riding, teach your children to watch out for parked cars that might open their doors, road hazards, common traffic flows, and rules that motorists usually follow. This can be a precursor to their learning to drive and will equip them with a sense of what drivers are most likely to do so that they can act accordingly while bicycling.
Is hand, foot and mouth disease dangerous?
While the name might make this condition sound rather frightening, the truth is that many kids under the age of five develop this illness. This is because these viruses are quite contagious. Even though this most often impacts young children, this infection can also present in older children, teens, and even adults.
What are the symptoms?
The incubation period for hand, foot and mouth disease is about 3-6 days from exposure. At first, symptoms may appear mild and look similar to the common cold (e.g. runny nose, fever, and sore throat); however, blisters will then start to develop within the mouth and on the body (often the palms of the hands and soles of the feet).
How is it diagnosed?
A diagnosis is often made by a pediatrician through a simple physical evaluation. They will go through your child’s medical history, examine the blisters and ask questions about your child’s symptoms to determine whether this could be hand, foot and mouth disease. Some testing may be performed to rule out other conditions.
How is hand, foot and mouth disease treated?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a medication that will get rid of hand, foot and mouth disease. Like most viral infections, the infection just has to run its course; however, there are certain things your pediatrician may prescribe or recommend that you do to ease your child’s symptoms. For example, ibuprofen may be recommended to help ease the pain as well as your child’s fever. Of course, it’s always a good idea to speak with your pediatrician before you start your child on any medication, even over-the-counter medications.
If your child develops symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease it’s important that you see your pediatrician as soon as possible for an evaluation, as they will want to make sure that this is truly what’s causing their symptoms.
Any temperature over 90F poses a serious health risk, especially to kids. When temperatures are at or above 90F here’s what you can do to keep your little ones safe:
Find an air-conditioned environment: If you don’t have AC in your home, it’s important to find a space that does. Make an action plan for where you can go if the temperatures become so high that you cannot safely stay in your home. You may need to stay with someone who does have AC or find free spaces such as a public library, which should also have AC.
Drink (lots of) water: You and your children must be also drinking enough water, especially on those super-hot days. While kids should normally get eight 8-oz glasses of water if a child is particularly active or it’s hot out, they must be drinking even more water to replenish what’s being lost.
Wear the appropriate clothes: Just as you need a coat and gloves to protect your skin during the cold winter months, you also need to wear the appropriate clothes for those brutally hot days. Make sure your child is wearing light-colored clothes made from lightweight, absorbent materials that will wick away sweat. Since kids are less likely to sweat than adults, it’s important to keep them in the coolest and lightest clothes possible.
Stay cool: Whether jumping through the sprinkler system or simply hopping in a cold shower, there are easy steps you can take to help your child cool down when they complain of being too hot! If there is a swimming pool nearby, this is also a great and fun way to keep cool.
Whether you have questions about keeping your child safe during the summer months or you simply need to schedule their next well-child visit, a pediatrician is going to be the first doctor you turn to for your child’s health and wellbeing. Keeping your child safe this summer doesn’t have to be difficult, but if you have questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call.