Bug bites can be annoying and itchy. They can also seriously affect your children if they bring an infectious disease like West Nile or Lyme disease. Prevent bug bites and infection this summer by avoiding buggy situations, using a good bug repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves when in buggy areas.
Heat stroke is a serious medical condition that can be life threatening. In heat stroke, the body’s core temperature rises. Much like a fever, extremely high body temperatures can lead to permanent damage. Some signs of heat stroke include:
• short, rapid breathing
• stopping sweating
• a fast pulse
If your child has these signs, call 911 immediately.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 76 million people suffer from food poisoning. Summertime is full of picnics, and picnics bring food out into the open where it can stay warm too long. So if you take a tip from our Health Coach and go on a picnic with your children, avoid an outbreak of food poisoning by following simple guidelines about food safety and food handling. Keep perishable food cold and covered. Common sense will prevent you and your friends and families from coming down with a food-borne illness.
UV rays in sunlight can damage your children’s eyes. If they are out in the sunlight in the summertime, get them to wear sunglasses that filter out UV light. Otherwise, sunglasses are opening up their pupils by making things darker, which actually lets in more UV rays, not less. Be sure their sunglasses filter out 100 percent of UV light and try your best to have them wear them, especially around water, which can reflect a tremendous about of light to their eyes.
Once your baby reaches 6 months of age, it’s time to introduce sunscreens. Choose a broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that offers a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Look at the active ingredients; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are good choices, because these physical filters don’t rely on absorption of chemicals and are less apt to cause a skin reaction. Continue to cover your baby with a hat and protective clothing. Use sunscreen on all exposed areas, such as the back of the hands, face, ears and neck. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and reapply it every two hours or more frequently if you take your baby into the pool or if he or she is sweating. Also continue to seek shade, schedule outdoor playtime before 10 AM or after 4 PM and keep covering young children with hats, sunglasses and lightweight clothing that covers as much skin as possible. For added protection, look for special clothing marked with an ultraviolet protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more, which will allow only 1/30th of the sun’s rays to reach the skin.