Summer Safety
Lakeshore Pediatric Center Summer Safety Tips

By: Misti G Benton, NP-C

June 22nd marks the official kickoff of summer! Lakeshore Pediatric Center wishes nothing but summer fun and excitement for all our patients for the 2014 season. However, we also wanted to offer you some safety tips as the season often poses some health risks.
The onset of summer usually means increased water activities, especially around the Lake Norman region. Drowning is the second most prevalent cause of accidental death in children and about half of these deaths occur within 25 yards of a parent or adult (Clinical Advisor, 2014).
Some quick reminder tips to note:
• Never leave children alone near pools or other bodies of water unsupervised, even for a moment, even in shallow water. Swimming knowledge or use of floatation devices cannot be considered a substitute for supervision.
• Fences should surround pools and have self-closing, self-latching gates. Stray toys should not be left in / around the pool.
• Adults should have a phone by the pool so leaving the area to take a call is unnecessary. Also, emergency services can be contacted quickly if needed.
• Consider CPR training or education, this can be life saving when used immediately.
• Restrict extended length of sun exposure, especially during peak intensity hours i.e. between 10am and 4pm. Have your child wear a hat with a three inch brim or a bill facing forward.
• Sunscreen use in children ages 6 months and older, even on cloudy days. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, after swimming or sweating. Use extra caution near water and sand (even snow!), as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.
• Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities that last less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or sports drinks available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.
• Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material. Sweat saturated shirts should be replaced with dry clothing.
• Always wear a life jacket at all times when on boats or near bodies of water. Additionally, ensure that it is the right size for your child. Wear as instructed with all belts latched.
• Adolescents should be educated and warned of the dangers of boating when under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and even some prescription medications.
• Never swim alone. Ocean swim only when there is a lifeguard on duty.
As the summer kicks off, we encourage proper supervision, proper environment, proper gear and proper education. Childhood summer injuries can be prevented, don’t be a statistic!
For additional resources check out www.healthychildren.org or call our office if needed for questions or concerns.
References:

American Academy of Pediatrics (2013). Sun and Water Safety Tips. Accessed June 23, 2014 from aap.org
Clinical Advisor (2014). Water Safety. Online journal article. Accessed June 18, 2014.
   
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