Tuesday, June 22, 2010


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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Safe Swimming Rules!

Warm temperatures, blue skies and sunny days make summer time the best time to enjoy outdoor activities. Swimming is by far the most popular summer activity and can provide fun for people of all ages. However, for young children, swimming can be dangerous, so proper safety precautions need to be taken.

Toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3 require constant supervision around water, and even shallow water can present a safety hazard for these youngsters.

* Use “touch supervision.” The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adults be within an arm’s length of their toddler at all times while the child is in the water. Inflatable flotation devices should not be used as a substitution for supervision, as the devices could deflate at any time, leaving your child in danger.

*Fence in backyard pools. If you have a pool at home, a fence needs to surround the perimeter of the pool. This fence should be at least 4 feet high and contain a self-closing and locking mechanism. Ensure the fence works properly to prevent your child from being able to open the gate to get to the pool. Also, the fence should be constructed out of wood instead of chain links, so the child cannot climb over the fence.

*Don’t think your child is safe in the water just because he or she has had swimming lessons. Until the age of 4, many pediatricians discourage formal swimming lessons because children younger than 4 are generally not developmentally ready to swim on their own. If your child has had swimming lessons, do not rely solely on the instruction provided to keep them safe. Even children who know how to swim can find themselves in dangerous situations.

*Remove toys from the swimming pool and empty wading pools after every use. By leaving water in a wading pool or toys in a swimming pool, you are increasing the temptation for little ones to jump in the water while mom and dad are not looking. By removing toys, curious toddlers will not be tempted to get back in the water to retrieve them.

By properly supervising your toddler during all water activities, you will ensure that your day at the pool will be filled with nothing but fun.

Credit goes to St. Vincent Children Hospital in Indianapolis. Reviewed by Ralph Reiff, director of Sports Medicine and Sports Performance at St.Vincent Sports Performance–Northwest.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Shedding Light on Sun Protection

School is over, the flowers are in bloom, the pools are cool, and the ice cream man can be heard in the distance. This can only mean one thing—summer is here. Many children love the warm sun and enjoy feeling the sun’s rays on their skin, especially after experiencing cooler climates. All children need some sun exposure; it’s their primary source of vitamin D, which helps absorb calcium to build strong and healthy bones. However, it doesn’t take much time in the sun for children to get the vitamin D they need, and too much unprotected sun exposure can cause freckles, easy bruising, premature skin aging, skin discoloration and even skin cancer.

Parents can play a pivotal role in the prevention and early detection of the effects of too much sun exposure by following these five easy steps.

Limit outdoor playing time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. During this time, the sun’s rays are at their strongest. If a child is in the sun between these hours, apply proper protective sunscreen. Also, don’t be fooled by cloud coverage. Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays remain strong.

Apply sunscreen properly. Parents should generously apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to children playing outside. Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 45 or higher. When applying, don’t forget to cover ears, nose, hands, shoulders, feet and behind the neck. It’s also important to remember the lips and scalp, as they can also easily burn. Apply a lip balm that contains SPF protection.

Cover up. To ward off ultraviolet damage, wear protective clothing. Keep children covered with dark colors, long sleeves and pants. Accessories are just as important. Sunglasses with ultraviolet protection can help prevent the cornea from burning, and hats will help protect the face and scalp.

Keep watch on medications. Some medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to sun. Prescription antibiotics and acne medications are the biggest culprits. Parents should consult with a doctor if they are unsure about the medications their child is taking.

Set a good example for children. A child will likely follow suit if he or she sees a parent following sun-safety rules. Skin protection is important for all family members, so set a good example for children and cover up when heading out into the sun.

Reviewed by Terrence Brogan, M.D., pediatric dermatologist at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

About 35-40 children die each year from hypothermia.

With the hot summer season now upon is, remember to never leave your child in the car for any length of time unattended. About 35-40 children die each year from hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature rises, your car's internal temperature can raise over 35 degrees in just 30 minutes on a hot day. Leaving the windows open doesn't always help much depending on the temperature, humidity levels, and winds. A baby locked up in the back seat of a car can die in just 15 minutes on a 75-degree day.

Only 15 states have enacted laws prohibiting parents from leaving their children unattended in cars. But states do prosecute and sentence parents who leave their children inside a hot car.

The Golden Gate Weather Services has a lot of good factual information on this topic. This month's Parenting Magazine contains a powerful story about a family who inadvertently forgot their child in the car and the tragedy they've gone through.

Inadvertently leaving a child can happen to anyone. Experts suggest that moms and dads leave an item of importance on the floor of the car by the car seat so that they must open the back seat to get the item and remember baby is along for the ride. This could be a purse, briefcase, laptop, office keys, or other item.

Have a safe summer with your baby!!