Summer is officially here and you know what that means: it means it’s time to get outside.
For most children, summer means camping, swimming, bubbles, skateboards and hiking. For parents, it’s a different story.
Summer brings a new set of concerns for children, leaving parents apprehensive about how they can keep their children healthy and safe. Lilly Cueto, spokesperson for SoapTime®, a dynamic way to teach children healthy hand washing habits while having fun, offers her advice for a safe and enjoyable summer break. Her recommendations include the five following summer health tips for children:
1. Stay hydrated
With all the summer activities in the sun, along with those scorching summer temperatures, it’s extremely easy for kids to become dehydrated and overheated. The Discovery Channel’s Fit and Health website says that kids are more susceptible to heat illnesses than adults because their central nervous systems are not yet fully developed. Early signs of dehydration include thirst, lack of energy, fatigue and dry lips. It is important for parents to be aware of these signs and to get their children drinking fluids steadily throughout the day. Keeping water or sports drinks with electrolytes on hand is always helpful in maintaining hydration. So whether it is at the playground, at the pool or on a hike, children should be sure to have something to drink nearby.
2. Wash your hands
Kids and germs go hand in hand, and with all those outdoor germs to worry about, it is imperative to keep those little hands clean. No matter where children are this summer you can be sure they are picking up germs. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that washing your hands for 20 seconds is one of the best ways to prevent illness and the spreading of germs. Now with SoapTime it’s easier to get kids to the sink because keeping those hands clean is more fun than ever. SoapTime consists of three uniquely shaped bottles: ABC, Earth and Elephant set in a SmartBase®. Each bottle is recognized by the SmartBase and as a distinct educational theme that includes unique songs, factoids and LED light shows. SoapTime products give children of all ages – especially those learning to wash – an entertaining experience at the sink, while giving their parents a
tool for teaching healthy habits.
Shown above: Four-piece kit including a SmartBase, ABC, Earth and Elephant bottles is $16.97 each.
3. Protect yourself from the sun
The Skin Cancer Foundation states that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Furthermore, the CDC says that just a few serious cases of sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. With skin cancer a rising concern, taking extra precautions this summer can only help reduce the chances of skin damage. Even if those summer skies aren’t sunny, children should still be sure to cover up and wear sunscreen every time they go outside. Parents should also be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours and even more often than that if their kids are playing in the water.
4. Wear a helmet
Kids hear it all the time: “Wear your helmet!” But do they really listen? It is essential to educate your children on the importance of helmet safety. A lot of children may grab their bike or skateboard this summer and take off without grabbing their helmet. By doing this, they are putting their lives in real danger. The Discovery Fit and Health site confirms that nearly 300,000 kids make a visit to the emergency room every year with bike-related injuries, some resulting in death or severe brain injury. Sit down with your kids this summer and explain why wearing a helmet is a must.
5. Be aware of ticks
While healthychildren.org reassures us that most tick bites are harmless, ticks are most prevalent from April to September and can carry disease. If you live in an area that is well-known for ticks, a helpful tip is to perform a daily tick check on your child. The CDC recommends checking under the arms, between the legs, around the waist, inside the navel, in and around the ears, behind the knees and through the hairline and scalp. Repellants for skin and clothing are also suggested. To kill any ticks on clothing, the CDC says that tumbling clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour is the most effective solution. According to Dr. Bobbi Pritt of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, if you find ticks, remove them immediately by pinching the tick near its mouth and pulling it out slowly in a continuous motion. Avoid twisting the tick because doing so may leave some parts embedded in the skin.
By following these five health tips this summer parents and children alike can have fun in the sun while staying safe. Now head outside and enjoy the summer sun!