Summer Safety for Kids

Ways to keep your kids safe this summer

(RxWiki News) The sun is shining, the swimmers are splashing and the kids are hitting the playgrounds. Don't let injuries and illnesses ruin the summer fun.

A) Heat-Related Illnesses

It's summer time, and that means sun and heat. If you aren't careful, the summer heat can lead to heat-related illnesses.

Infants and children up to 4 years old face the greatest risk for heat-related illnesses.

1) To prevent heat-related illnesses:

  • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car. This holds true even if the windows are cracked open.
  • Be sure to dress infants and children in loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
  • Schedule outdoor activities when the sun is not as strong (morning and evening).

For more information on how to protect yourself and your children from the sun, be sure to read "Staying Safe in the Summer Sun."

B) Injury Prevention

1) Playground injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger are treated in emergency rooms for playground-related injuries each year. These injuries may include falls when skating, roller skating and skateboarding, too.

To keep your kids safe:

  • Make sure the surfaces under playground equipment are safe, soft and well-maintained.
  • Supervise young children at all times around fall hazards, such as stairs and playground equipment.
  • Have your child wear protective gear, such as a helmet and knee and elbow pads, during sports and recreation.

2) Burns

It's important to note that playground equipment can pose a risk of thermal burns. Even today's playground equipment — made of plastic and rubber instead of metal — can become hot enough to burn a child’s skin.

The temperature does not have to be very high for a burn to occur. In fact, there is at least one report of a child receiving serious second‐degree burns from a plastic slide on a 74°F day.

Here's what you can do to help keep your child safe:

  • Always check the temperature of the equipment and surface before letting your child play on the playground. Remember that a young child's skin will burn faster than your own. And some types of materials may not feel hot with a quick touch, meaning they may require a longer check.
  • Always dress your child in appropriate clothing for the playground, such as shoes and pants.
  • Always supervise your children while they play.

3) Concussions

A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. Concussions don't just happen to football players. In fact, these brain injuries can happen while riding a bicycle, in the home or on the playground.

Concussion symptoms include headache, neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, dizziness, feeling dazed, feeling tired, and issues with coordination or balance.

To prevent concussions, be sure your child wears the following:

  • A helmet during activities
  • Proper headgear during sports

Make sure your child's helmet is appropriate for the sport. For example, wear a batter's helmet when batting. Also, the helmet must fit properly, be well-maintained, be appropriate for your child's age and be certified using Snell helmet safety standards lists.

For more information on concussions and what to do if you suspect one, be sure to read "Keep Your Head in the Game This Summer."

Talk to your pharmacist today if you have any questions about staying safe this summer.

Written by Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS