Summer Fun, Safely – Tips for Active Kids

Summer days mean more time outdoors to enjoy a variety of activities. Whether your family likes toFather and Daughter Playing swim, bike, boat, hike, run, or picnic in the park, putting safety first can help prevent unintended trips to the emergency room. Here are some tips to avoid interrupting the family summer fun.

1. Rely on your eyes, not your ears, for water safety.
It only takes four to six minutes for a submerged child to drown or sustain permanent brain injury. Never take your eyes off of children who are in the water. Children who are drowning are often too exhausted to call out. Rely on your eyes, not your ears, for water safety.

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2. Protect against sunburn, dehydration and heat illness.
Sun and heat can be extremely dangerous. You have to continually protect against sunburn, dehydration and heat illness. Just 15 minutes of UV ray exposure can cause sunburn, which may not turn red for hours. And physical activity in high temperatures can lead quickly to dehydration, heat rash, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which is a serious medical emergency.

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3. If your child rides anything with wheels, insist they wear a helmet.
Injuries from falls and pedestrian accidents while riding bicycles, skateboards, scooters and ATVs can range from bad scrapes and broken limbs to traumatic brain injuries, the leading cause of death and disability in children and adolescents. The Center for Head Injury Services [1] found that wearing a helmet could have prevented 85 percent of head injuries in bicycle accidents. If your child rides anything with wheels, insist they wear a helmet.

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4. Use bug repellents and watch your step outdoors.
Bug bites and stings or a brush with poison ivy are generally minor, but be watchful. Anyone can have a sudden allergic reaction at any time. Also, mosquitos in some areas can carry West Nile virus, which causes serious illness in about one in five people. Though rare, bites from any type of wildlife need immediate medical attention. At the park or in your own backyard, use bug repellents and watch your step outdoors.

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5. Prevent playground burns by feeling the temperature of equipment first.
Even when it’s not that hot outside, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has found that plastic slides, swings and surface material can become hot enough to burn a child’s skin. Children age two and under are the most sensitive. Prevent playground burns by feeling the temperature of equipment first, before you let children play.

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Supervise children at all times.

Mission Health’s emergency rooms remain safe and open. Find a location near you. [4]