School’s out and kids will have lots of time to enjoy the outdoors. Make sure to keep them safe and healthy with these tips from Eric Henley, MD, Chief Medical Officer at LifeLong Medical Care.
Swimming can be a great way to get the exercise needed to live a healthy life. Keep these tips in mind:
- Keep kids safe in pools with life jackets. Drowning is a leading cause of death for toddlers ages 1 to 4. Wearing a properly fitted life jacket – not air-filled water wings or inner tubes – can help keep kids safe. Adults should always be on hand to supervise children in a pool and should not be texting, reading, or anything else that is distracting. Drowning can happen fast. An adult should be within arm's length of a child who is an inexperienced swimmer, even if a lifeguard is on duty. If necessary, perform CPR immediately on someone who has gone under, even before the emergency squad arrives. This can save a life and help prevent brain injury.
- Stay safe while boating by wearing a life jacket. Properly fitted life jackets can prevent drownings and should be worn at all times by everyone on any boat.
Throw some shade!
Just a few serious sunburns can increase a child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Adults and children need protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors. Remember to do the following:
- UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday, so seek shade or play inside during when the sun is at its strongest.
- Wear a hat that shades the face, scalp, ears, and neck. If one's child chooses a baseball cap, be sure to protect exposed areas with sunscreen.
- Use a sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Don’t forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet.