Keep your kids safe during summer fun

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Jul 13, 2017 8:08:42 AM

swimming-course-619088_1280.jpgWe want our kids to explore the outdoors and enjoy the summer, but we also want them to be safe and injury free if possible. Follow these tips to protect them this summer from the sun, bug bites and more.

Protect skin from the summer sun

Remember, sunburned and suntanned skin are actually signs of skin damage. Although fair-skinned people, especially blondes and redheads, are most susceptible to skin cancer and other sun-caused problems, skin cancer protection is essential for those with darker skin as well.

  • Wear protective clothing, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Clothing that has been washed many times is generally more resistant to UV penetration.
  • Always use sunscreen if you're headed outdoors. Apply it 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Don't use sunscreen that also contains insect repellent. Frequent application of repellent can be toxic.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 30+ on your face and with 15+ on the rest of your body. If you burn easily or have skin cancer risk factors, use SPF 50+.
  • Reapply sunscreen after sweating or swimming. Water-repellent sunscreen lasts about 40 minutes; water resistant only about 20 minutes.
  • Consult your doctor before using sunscreen on infants under 6 months old.
  • Sunscreen doesn't make you immune, so limit your time in the sun and avoid the most intense hours of the day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Be aware that reflective surfaces like water and sand intensify the light and can lead to quicker sunburns.

When should you see a doctor for sunburn

Call a health care provider right away if you have a fever with sunburn or if there are signs of shock, heat exhaustion, dehydration or other serious reactions. These signs include:

  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Rapid pulse or rapid breathing
  • Extreme thirst, no urine output or sunken eyes
  • Pale, clammy or cool skin
  • Nausea, fever, chills or rash
  • Your eyes hurt and are sensitive to light
  • Severe, painful blisters

Prevention is your best offense against bug bites

The joys of playing outdoors in Minnesota can be diminished by concerns about bee stings, bug bites or mosquitoes. The easiest way to avoid bug bites and bee stings is to cover your skin:

  • Wear light-colored clothing - it's less attractive to insects and can help you easily spot them on your body.
  • Wear a broad-rimmed hat.
  • Cover ankles and wrists.
  • Tuck pants into socks.
  • Wear lightweight gloves when gardening.
  • Check yourself periodically to look for bugs and ticks.
  • Insect repellent is important when you're near mosquitoes or ticks. DEET is the most effective repellent, typically with protection lasting up to seven hours. Picaridin also works well. It has less of an odor but only lasts four hours.
  • Never use insect repellent on infants under 2 months of age.
  • Never apply repellent directly on young children's hands.
  • Apply sunscreen and wait 30 minutes before applying insect repellent.
If you've been stung by a bee, take the following steps:
  • Remove the stinger.
  • Wash the site with soap and water.
  • Wrap ice in a cloth and apply it to the site for 10 minutes. Then remove the ice for 10 minutes and repeat this process.
  • Apply anti-itch cream or take an antihistamine.
  • Watch for redness, swelling or pain that could indicate infection.

When to contact a medical professional for a sting

Call 911 if someone with a sting has the following symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath
  • Swelling anywhere on the face or in the mouth
  • Throat tightness or difficulty swallowing
  • Feeling weak
  • Turning blue

Beat dehydration before it beats you

Dehydration can quickly progress from mild to moderate to severe, at which point it can turn deadly. Thirst is not the first sign of impending dehydration. Very early symptoms are more likely to be:

  • Dry or sticky mouth.
  • Lack of urine output, or urine is dark yellow.
  • Lack of tear production in children.

Follow these tips to stay hydrated:

  • When it gets hot outdoors, you need even more fluids. This is true even if you're just lounging in the sun.
  • Water is the best option. If you're expending energy or working out, a sports drink that contains electrolytes is also beneficial, although they can be high in sugar. 
  • Avoid sweet juices and soda as they can be hard on your stomach if you're dehydrated.
  • Avoid caffeine because it functions as a diuretic.
  • You need to replenish a pint of water for every pound of sweat you lose.

Enjoy the summer with your family by staying safe and avoiding injuries with these recommendations.Request a Meet & Greet with a Doctor | Ridgeview Medical


Topics: Fitness/activity, Wellness

Medical and health information presented here is intended to be general in nature, and should not be viewed as a substitute for professional advice. Please consult with a health care professional for all matters relating to personal medical and health care issues. In case of an emergency, please call 911. 

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