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Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 07/15/2010 10:28 AM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 07/15/2010 11:15 AM
Expires: 01/01/2015 12:00 AM

The Kid Connection..."Summer Safety"~by Stefanie Pechan

We’re in the midst of summer and while most understand the importance of sunscreen and water safety, here are a few refreshers: Apply (and re-apply) sunscreen: Up to 80 percent of kids will get sunburned this summer and just one bad burn may double the risk of melanoma cancer later on in life. To keep your little one sunburn free: Slater on SPF 30 or higher at least every two hours (and ALWAYS after swims). Put it on before your child gets dressed so you don’t miss any spots. Use an ounce of lotion to adequately cover a toddler; two ounces for adults. Avoid sunscreen battles by using a tear free option.....

Dress for the weather: Some companies are offering SPF rated clothing and charging more for it—it is a sales gimmick! Here’s a tip: most of the clothing you own does the same thing. To see whether the clothing is sun protective hold the cloth up to a lamp—the less light shining through, the better it will be at blocking the sun’s harmful rays.

Protect those peepers: Kid’s eyes are especially sensitive to the sun, but it can be tough to get your child to wear sunglasses the right way (or at all). Try looking for sunglasses that are symmetrical, meaning there’s no upside down, and with soft rubber on the bridge and temples. They will stay securely and comfortably in place.

Pool hazards: Did you know that 9 out of 10 children were under some sort of supervision when they drowned? That is scary!
Empty up that blow-up/wading pool: If you’ve got one, make sure you empty it every night—no exceptions! If it is too big for that, it will need a four-sided fence with a locking gate (Consumer Reports Director, Don Mays). Mays states that “soft-sided pools are easy for a child to lean on and can fall in. Covers don’t keep kids out, and can even entrap them under water.”
Dry drowning: I won’t re-tell any stories here, you can Google for yourself. Dry drowning occurs when the lungs are unable to extract oxygen out of the air. It doesn’t take a lot of water for that to happen. So even if your child can swim, NEVER leave them unsupervised. Have little ones in a wading pool? Same goes for them—children can drown in as little as an inch of water.
Ward off swimmers ear (and get the right treatment): When water is trapped in the ear canal, bacteria can grow. What to do:
Have your child wear ear plugs if he/she is susceptible to ear infections.
Put two or three drops of rubbing alcohol or a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar in each ear after a long swim, to help excess water evaporate.
If there is an infection, the doctor should prescribe antibiotic eardrops (not pills) and painkillers. Have your child lie on their side, use a dropper, and keep him that way for three minutes.

Beat the bugs: Do you hate smelly, greasy insect spray? Try a DEET-free repellent with one of these new ingredients approved by the Centers for Disease Control: Off! Sintastic Clean Feel with picaridin (about $5 at stores)—feels like water and is safe for kids 2 months and up. Repel, with the plant-based Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), (about $5 at stores), smells like citrus and is safe for kids over 3.

Keep everyone hydrated: If you know you will be going somewhere hot, increase fluids the day before. Push drinks even if your children don’t ask for them. Kids don’t know to stop playing when they need a drink, so you’ll have to be their reminder. “They should be drinking at least four ounces every two hours, and more if they are really active”—Ellen Schumann, M.D. Dehydration warning signs: dark urine or not being able to pee at all, complaints of headache or dizziness, lack of sweat (or not as much as usual).

Prevent food poisoning: Refrigerate sandwiches and salads overnight so they stay colder longer. Don’t leave food out for more than two hours (one hour if it is 90 degrees or warmer). When grilling, use different utensils and plates to keep cooked and raw meats separate.

Hope everyone is enjoying happy and safe summer! School is just around the corner! Our next topic will be where to find the best deals for stocking up for back to school!

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