HRMC Pediatrician Dr. Anne’s Summer Safety Tips
Dr Anne Marie Abao-BeauchampDr Anne Marie Abao-Beauchamp
Summer is almost here! That means our kids will be spending long days outside playing. As a pediatrician, I encourage kids to be active and summertime is a wonderful opportunity to go outside and have fun. While you are enjoying Summer do not forget to keep your children safe. Here are a few tips to help kids stay active, safe, and healthy:
1. Sun Safety: Wear broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 to 50 and apply at least 30 mins before stepping out into the sun. Re-apply every 2 hours or after swimming. Remember, infants under 6 months of age should not have direct sunlight exposure. It is best to keep them under the shade. Please encourage kids to wear 99% UV protection sunglasses, hats, and cool, comfortable clothing. Make sure they are drinking plenty of water and take frequent breaks from the sun.
2. Water Safety: Drowning is a leading cause of summer-related deaths among children. This can happen in seconds. Make sure to have proper supervision when your child is near water. Do not be distracted by electronics or other things. Teaching children to swim is important but does not take away the need for constant supervision. Have them wear life jackets when appropriate.
3. Insect Bite Safety: Insect repellents protect from bugs like mosquitoes and ticks. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends DEET containing repellents if you follow directions correctly. It is important to know that the concentration of DEET in a product is indicative of how long a product will work. An example is 10% DEET provides protection for 2 hours. Do not use more than 30% DEET on children. Insect repellents are not recommended for children younger than 2 months of age. “Natural” insect repellents last only for a short time. Re-application may often be necessary. These may include citronella oil, peppermint oil, cedar oil and geranium oil.
4. Safety on Wheels: Bicycles, Scooters, Skateboarding, and other activities on wheels are a popular past time for kids and are great forms of exercise. While your kids are having fun on wheels, do not forget these few things to keep them safe. The most common and serious injury that comes with these activities is a head injury. According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, properly fitted helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45%. It is also important to wear other protective gear such as wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads and gloves when warranted to avoid other potential injuries from accidents or falls.
Summer can be the best time for kids to get their annual wellness visits. It is recommended that children three years and older have a yearly checkup. Before age 3, children can have as many as thirteen well checks beginning with their initial newborn visit. During these well visits, we monitor your child’s growth and development, give parents the opportunity to ask questions or discuss any concerns you might have about your child’s health and ensure that your child is up to date with recommended vaccines and screening tests. If you are looking for a pediatrician that is closer to home, please call 803.943.7612 to schedule an appointment at Coastal Plains Primary Care of Hampton Regional Medical Center (HRMC). We would love to work with you to keep your children safe and healthy!
About the writer:
Dr Anne Marie Abao-Beauchamp is a medical doctor in Pediatrics. HRMC is proud to have her as the only licensed Pediatrician in Hampton County.