Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Marissa Hendrickson
For kids, summer is one of the best seasons, and rightfully so. Sunshine, fun in the water, and family cookout fun have made some of the best memories. However, summer can also be a dangerous time of year for children.
No matter where your children are enjoying their summer, talk about these summer safety tips with your family to prepare for the upcoming season.
Have you ever been to a water park or taken a long walk on a hot day and felt faint? Heat exhaustion can be extremely dangerous for anyone but especially for children. Signs of a heat stroke include clammy skin, elevated body temperature, increased sweating, nausea, or vomiting. It is also common for anyone taking certain medications to be more affected by the heat, be sure to check your child’s medicine side effects or talk to their doctor. Other risks include having a sunburn and being overweight.
If you start to see any of these symptoms in your child, take them to a cool and shaded space. Encourage them to drink cool fluids. An excellent option for children is Pedialyte. They have Pedialyte in the traditional liquid form, popsicles, and if you are on the go, they now sell individual powder packets that you can mix with cool water. Next, apply a cold, damp towel to their neck or forehead. After following these steps, if your child cannot drink or seems to be losing alertness, seek medical attention immediately.
Each year in the United States, approximately 38 children die from heatstroke caused by being left alone in a hot car. About 55% of child vehicular heatstroke deaths occur when a caregiver leaves a child in a car accidentally (KidsAndCars.org). Being a parent is extremely busy, especially in the summer. Everyday distractions can lead to unfortunate accidents.
Simple reminders can help parents avoid tragedies. Never leave your child unattended in a car, even if you plan to walk away for a moment. Use drive-through services when grabbing anything in the car when possible. Put an essential item like a purse or phone in the backseat to remind yourself to check. Ensure that your car is locked after getting your child out of the vehicle to make sure they cannot get back in the car without your knowledge. Ask your daycare provider to call immediately if your child is late.
If your child is in a hot car, time is crucial. Get them out, cooled off, and call 911.
No parent can dodge every accident on a busy playground in the summertime, but we can try to avoid them! You can follow a few basic guidelines to keep the scraped knees at bay. Do not allow your child to play on any equipment after getting out of a pool. Slipping off a slide or not getting a grip on something can easily cause them to fall and hurt themselves.
To avoid skin burns and heat exhaustion, play earlier in the morning or the evening when it is slightly cooler outside. Lastly, ensure your child is wearing closed-toed shoes with the laces securely tied.
Parents sometimes overlook helmet safety, especially if the child is “just going down the street” or “around the driveway.” Although helmets do not guarantee that your child will not get a concussion or have a head injury, they can help protect them from worse damage.
Make sure the helmet is age-appropriate and fits your child’s head. This means taking them with you to the store to get the helmet. Make sure the helmet does not sit too high on their head, but they can still clearly see. Lastly, ask them if it is comfortable. They need to want to wear this helmet, even on a hot summer day.
Contrary to popular belief, concussions can happen from mild injuries like falling on the sidewalk. Parents must know the signs of a possible trauma in their child, especially with increased risks during summer activities. According to kidshealth.org, “Concussions happen when a blow to the head or an injury makes the head move back and forth with much force.” Some of the warning signs of a concussion include Signs and symptoms of a concussion include headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, balance problems, trouble walking, being slow to answer questions, slurred speech, nausea, or vomiting.
If you believe your child has suffered a concussion after a fall or injury, seek medical attention immediately. Although concussions do not show up on CAT scans or MRIs, doctors can diagnose them based on the symptoms and the injury. Most recoveries include a few days of rest in a quiet environment, very little screen time, and avoiding any physical activity. Be sure your pediatrician releases your child before allowing them to resume any regular activities.
Summer activities are always more fun when you and your child are safe and protected!
For more tips on child safety in the summertime, visit Summer Safety Checklist for Kids (verywellfamily.com).
May 29, 2022, mhendrickson