Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fun in the Sun!

School’s out for summer! Forget homework—kids are ready to get out and play. Follow these tips to help keep your kids safe and avoid common summertime injuries.

Before heading out on your summer vacation, be sure to check out the latest car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The new policy says toddlers should stay in rear-facing car seats until at least age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their car seat. It also says that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall and between 8 and 12 years of age. Children should ride in the backseat until age 13.

Be Hard Headed - Make sure your child is protected while riding his or her bicycle, rollerblading or skateboarding. Look for helmets that:

Are brightly colored

Fit correctly

Can be easily adjusted

Have a Consumer Product Safety Commission or Snell Memorial Foundation sticker inside

Don’t allow your child to wear a hat under his or her helmet, and replace a helmet if your child hits a hard surface while wearing it. A helmet’s ability to absorb shock decreases after it has sustained a blow.

Don’t Let the Bugs Bite - Bug bites are common in the summer and are usually harmless. However, in addition to causing that aggravating itch, bug bites can be painful. To ward off mosquitoes and ticks, use an insect repellent that contains 10 percent to 30 percent DEET, and reapply every two or three hours. Never use insect repellants on a child younger than 2 months old, and avoid using products that combine DEET and sunscreen. The sun protection factor in these products is less effective, increasing the need for reapplication and potentially causing overexposure to DEET.

Drink Up - Before kids play outdoors, they need to drink water to prevent dehydration. During outdoor play, children weighing 90 pounds should drink 5 ounces of cold tap water every 20 minutes to prevent dehydration.

To keep your summer safe with a free first-aid kid from Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent, visit