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Keep Kids Safe this Summer
“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 MD, FAAP, a board-certified pediatrician at Kelsey-Seybold.
“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,” she 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. "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,” Dr. Condron advises.
The sun can burn into summer fun. Ultraviolet A and B are invisible sun rays that can damage and blister skin, later leading to skin cancer.
"Minimize sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when rays are strongest," recommends Dr. Condron. "Lather on sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply 20 minutes before exposure and again every two or three hours. Dress kids in light-colored clothing such as a white cap and a white T-shirt. Lighter colors reflect the sun's rays whereas darker colors absorb them, causing overheating."
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%.
“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 concludes.
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