Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the simple pleasures of being outdoors. Unfortunately, thousands of children are injured playing during the summer months every year. Here are a few precautionary tips to help keep your child safe while enjoying outdoor activities the remainder of the summer.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that 600 children die from bike accidents each year and several hundred thousand are injured. Make sure your children know the rules of the road.
Safety equipment is important, too.
Sun exposure contributes to skin cancer or melanoma as an adult, and the more sunburns one has and the more severe they are (particularly as a child), the greater the odds of developing skin cancer.
It doesn’t take long to heat up with 100-degree temperatures, which can result in heat cramps and exhaustion.
Heat cramps are muscle spasms in the abdomen, arms and legs that may occur during exercise. If your child is having cramps, take them to a cool place and give them lots of fluids – water or sports drinks. Even after the symptoms go away, have the child continue to rest for several hours. Untreated heat cramps can progress to heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body’s temperature becomes elevated due to heat, not illness. The symptoms are the same as for heat cramps, but may also include:
To prevent heat-related illnesses, ensure your child drinks plenty of fluids, such as water or sports drinks with electrolytes. Pop or caffeinated drinks are not good because they contribute to dehydration.
If your child displays symptoms, give them fluids and monitor them closely. If symptoms do not improve rapidly, especially if there is an elevated body temperature, seek immediate medical care.
One of the most important components for summertime safety is a responsible adult. Many educational classes are available through the American Red Cross (www.midwaykansas.redcross.org) and other organizations. Ensure your babysitter also knows how to respond to a serious situation.