Keep your kids safe when playing in the sun
Keeping your kids safe during the summer may seem like a breeze, but there are many related situations that parents often wonder if they are handling correctly. Kids, and adults for that matter, often forget how dangerous the heat can be when they are swimming in nice, cool water. Stay aware of your surroundings and how long you are actually out in the sun light when you or your children are swimming. Staying safe and having fun can be a bit easier by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
- Be sure to apply enough sunscreen – about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
- Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.
- Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment.
- For children under 5, an adult should be within arm’s length at all times.
- A fence at least 4 feet high should be around all four sides of the pool.
- Keep rescue equipment and a portable telephone near the pool.
- Remember that inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties” are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children and parents a false sense of security.
- Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats, docks, or near bodies of water.
- Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child.
- Adolescents and adults should be warned of the dangers of boating and should be taught boating safety.
- Never swim alone. Even good swimmers need buddies!
- A lifeguard (or another adult who knows about water rescue) needs to be watching children whenever they are in or near open water. Younger children should be closely supervised while in or near the water – use “touch supervision,” keeping no more than an arm’s length away.
- Make sure your child knows never to dive into water except when permitted by an adult who knows the depth of the water and who has checked for underwater objects.
- Never let your child swim in canals or any fast moving water.
- Ocean swimming should only be allowed when a lifeguard is on duty.
- Teach children about rip currents. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you escape the current, and then swim back to shore.
If there is ever an accident in or near the water, or do to your child overheating, never hesitate to get to the nearest doctor’s office, clinic, or pediatrician. If you are in the Dallas, Mesquite, Sunnyvale, Garland, or Rockwall areas, there is definitely a plethora of options nearby. Often, accidents occur over the weekends or on holidays. Pediatric Clinic of Mesquite has a Night Clinic that is open until 10pm on weekdays and until 5pm on Saturdays. Also, they have locations in in Mesquite, Sunnyvale, and Garland. So, there is always help within reach! Know where your nearest clinic is when you are at the pool or on the lakes this summer!