Summer is here! Hopefully your kids are ready to tackle the great outdoors and spend their days exploring, running, swimming, and playing. The summer is for getting away from the TV and video games and for running and shouting with friends in the yard or on the beach! With all of the increased activity and time outdoors, summer also tends to be a time for increased rate of injuries in children. Here are some tips for avoiding the most common childhood summer injuries and risks on Long Island and beyond.
- Drowning – Long Island is home to dozens of beaches and even more swimming pools. Rule of thumb for children younger than 5 years of age is to not let them get further than an arm’s length from an adult while swimming. If you can’t reach out and grab the child, he or she is at risk from drowning. If your child is supposed to be in the house with you and suddenly goes missing, look outside first – especially if you own a pool. Don’t allow older children to go to a pool or beach unsupervised. When you arrive at the beach, park your blanket near a lifeguard stand and tell your kids they have to stay in front of the lifeguard at all times. Most important – don’t think drowning can’t happen to you. It happens every year and it’s a tragedy that can be avoided with proper supervision and diligence.
- Dehydration/Heat Stroke – Carry a cooler with water on extra hot days. Give your child his or her own water bottle to drink from. If there is a heat advisory, try to schedule outings for early in the day or late afternoon or before and after the sun is at its strongest. If your child develops a headache, dizziness or lethargy give him water and visit your local ER-DOX or medical center. If your child starts to lose consciousness or faints, call an ambulance.
- Bicycles/Scooters/Skateboards – Always wear a helmet when riding! Skateboarders should wear proper knee, elbow, and wrist guards. Avoid busy streets. Young children should always be properly supervised.
- Eye Injuries – Improper PH levels in pools is a common cause of eye irritation in children. Check the PH levels in your own pool prior to use. Use of goggles or swim masks can help lower the risk of irritation when swimming in pools other than your own.
- Bug Bites – Ticks can be a big problem on Long Island, so avoid areas where the grass is high or underbrush thick. If they can’t be avoided, wear long pants and brightly colored clothes so that ticks are easier to spot. Regularly check your children for ticks, including in areas where they can hide like under hair or behind the ears. You can read more about tick bites on the ER-DOX blog, as well as information on bee/wasp stings and mosquito bites.
- Sunburns – Check out our previous article for Long Island Mama’s Network on sunscreen and what you need to know to avoid sunburns.
Be safe out there this summer — have a great time and enjoy every moment of this season!
By Allison Profeta for ER-DOX. ER-DOX offers immediate, walk-in Urgent Medical Care at its Massapequa and Amityville locations. Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and join on Pinterest for health and wellness news, tips, and trends.
Photo credit: Cylonka Bsg