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“As Texas temperatures heat up, the first thing kids will probably do is head to pools, lakes, rivers, or beaches to start splashing their way into summer,” says Suzanne Condron M.D., F.A.A.P., a board-certified pediatrician

“Swimming and water sports are great fun and good exercise. But sadly, many drownings of school-age children occur each summer. My most basic safety tip: Learn to swim! Have your kids take lessons at your local pool. And never let your children swim without an adult watching,” Dr. Condron says.

Many swimmers are seriously injured from diving mishaps. “Serious spinal cord injuries, brain damage and death can occur when swimmers dive into shallow areas," Dr. Condron warns. "Teach your children to check the water’s depth by getting in gradually – feet first – and to never dive into aboveground pools, which usually aren’t deep enough.”

The sun can burn into summer fun. Ultraviolet A and B are invisible sunrays that can damage and blister skin, later leading to skin cancer.

"Minimize exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when rays are strongest," recommends Dr. Condron. "Lather on sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply 20 minutes before exposure and again every two or three hours. Dress kids in light-colored clothing such as white cap or new white T-shirt. Lighter colors refelct the sun's rays whereas darker colors absorb them, causing overheating." 

Dr. Dr. Condron also advises everyone to wear helmets and other safety gear when biking, skating and skateboarding and when riding scooters, all-terrain vehicles and horses. Studies show that helmets can reduce the risk of bicycle head injuries by 85 percent.

“Don’t let warm weather fun bring a visit to the ER. Most summer injuries are preventable.“Don’t let warm weather fun bring a visit to the ER. Most summer injuries are preventable. Remember the adage: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That certainly applies to having a safe summer,” Dr. Condron says.

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Suzanne Condron, MD, FAAP

​As a pediatrician, my role is to address the concerns of both the patients and the parents. I try to provide parents with the guidance and information they need to keep their children safe and healthy, and I aim to engage even my very young patients to start thinking about making sensible choices so that they can establish lifelong healthy habits. It’s a partnership.