Keep your child safe while enjoying fun in the sun.
School’s out for summer, and your child may be gearing up for outdoor adventures, summer camps, swim team, and other activities. Of course, keeping your child safe is of the utmost importance to all parents and pediatricians. Here are some helpful tips to keep your little one safe all summer long.
Recognize Signs of Heat Exhaustion
When kids get dehydrated, which is quite common on hot summery days, they are more at risk of heatstroke and exhaustion. By recognizing the symptoms of heat exhaustion in your children, you’ll be able to bring them indoors and prevent them from developing heat stroke (which can be incredibly dangerous, especially for young children). Signs of heat exhaustion include,
- Body temperature between 100 and 104 F
- Increased thirst and sweating
- Clammy, cool skin
When you notice these symptoms, it’s essential that you bring your child into a cool place and make sure that they drink lots of liquids to stay hydrated. You can also help lower their body temp by applying cool compresses to their skin.
Keep Kids Protected from the Sun
Sunscreen isn’t just for adults; it’s also for kids. Just one sunburn can increase your child’s risk for skin cancer in the future. That’s why it’s important that you have them lather up with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
It’s important that you apply a generous amount to their face and body about 30 minutes before going outside. If they are going to be playing or swimming outdoors, it’s essential that they reapply immediately after coming out of the way or if they are sweating.
Know Water and Swimming Safety
Summer often means a lot of time spent in the pool or by the water. While the water can be a ton of fun for kids, it’s also important that they practice proper water safety habits to prevent drowning and other accidents. Make sure to keep an eye on your child, even if there is a lifeguard on duty. If your child is new to swimming, you may want to enroll them in a swim class that can help them develop strong swimming skills.
Keep Bug Bites at Bay
Along with protecting your child from the sun’s powerful rays, you must also protect them from mosquitos and other pests that could sting or bite them outdoors. Apply insect repellent before your child goes outside. There are many insect repellent options on the market these days, some of which are made from DEET-free and natural ingredients that are safe for all ages. Ask your child’s pediatrician if you are unsure which insect repellent is safe for them.
Summertime is the best time to be a kid, and these helpful tips will ensure a smart, safe, and fun season for the whole family. Don’t forget to schedule your child’s back-to-school physical with your pediatrician, especially before the sports season begins.
Make sure your child is following a healthy, balanced diet.
One in 5 school children is considered obese in the US. So, how do we stop these statistics from getting any higher? It starts with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Your child's pediatrician can always provide some helpful tips for ensuring your child is getting the vitamins and nutrients they need.
Daily Caloric Guidelines By Age
The number of calories your child consumes every day will depend on their age and their activity levels and gender. These are the caloric guidelines you should follow,
- 2-3 years old (both girls and boys): 1,000-1,400 calories
- 4-8 years old (boys): 1,200-2,000 calories
- 4-8 years old (girls): 1,200-1,800 calories
- 9-13 years old (boys): 1,600-2,600 calories
- 9-13 years old (girls): 1,400-2,200 calories
- 14-18 years old (boys): 2,000-3,200 calories
- 14-18 years old (girls): 1,800-2,400 calories
Incorporating the Right Foods into Your Child’s Diet
It’s important that your child is getting a variety of healthy foods to ensure that they get all the essential vitamins and nutrients they need to grow up strong and healthy. This includes,
Lean protein: This includes seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts
Vegetables: It’s important to incorporate many vegetables into your child’s diet every day. This can include everything from leafy greens to vibrant peppers to beans. If you do choose canned vegetables, make sure to check nutrition labels to ensure that there isn’t added sugar or sodium.
Fruits: Stay away from fruit juice, which can have a ton of added sugar, and opt for fresh or frozen fruit instead. Also, limit dried fruits, which can be high in calories.
Whole grains: Whole grains provide more benefits than refined grains (e.g., white bread and rice) and include whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice.
Dairy: Include some low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, or milk into your child’s daily diet.
While sugar won’t cause harm in moderation, it is important to limit added sugars and trans and saturated fats (found in red meat, full-fat dairy, and poultry). Wonder if your child’s diet gives them all the nutrients they need? This is something that your pediatrician can discuss with you during their next well-child visit.
Are you having challenges helping your child maintain a healthy weight? Are you concerned about their health? If so, it’s time to turn to your child’s pediatrician. They can provide you with strategies to help your child eat healthier and maintain a healthy weight.
What causes ear infections?
There is one major culprit that causes ear infections: the common cold. When your child comes down with a cold the fluids can sometimes get stuck in the middle ear, which can irritate the eardrum. Since the immune systems of children under 3 years old are still developing, this often means that they don’t have the antibodies necessary to fight off this infection. This means that it’s inevitable that many young children will deal with an ear infection at some point.
What are the symptoms?
It isn’t always easy to tell whether your child isn’t feeling well or what’s going on, particularly if your child is too young to tell you. Of course, there are some warning signs to be on the lookout for. You may notice that your child is irritable and fussier than usual. They may be upset more easily or cling to you. They may also have trouble sleeping. You may also notice them tugging or pulling at the ear.
On top of these common signs, they may also have a loss of appetite, upset stomach, diarrhea, fever or vomiting. If you notice any of these signs then it’s a good idea to call your pediatrician to see whether you should bring your child into the office.
How are ear infections treated?
How an ear infection is handled will really depend on the severity and cause of the infection, as well as your child’s age. In some instances, children between 6 months and 2 years may be prescribed a round of antibiotics while in other situations your pediatrician may just monitor their condition before deciding whether or not to prescribe medication.
Often, children over the age of 2 may not be prescribed medication right away; your pediatrician may take a “wait and see” approach since some ear infections clear up on their own.
If you are ever concerned about the issues or symptoms your child is experiencing, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for advice on the next steps. This can often provide parents with the peace of mind they need to know they are doing everything for their little one.
Is it safe to incorporate peanuts into my child’s diet?
Research shows that introducing a small number of peanut products to your baby’s diet may actually reduce their risk for an allergy. This means everything from adding a little bit of peanut butter to peanut powder to their food. You can introduce your child to peanut-based products at around 4-6 months old.
Is my child at risk for a peanut allergy?
It is important to recognize if your child is at high risk for a peanut allergy. If your child has an egg allergy or has severe eczema they may be more likely to have a peanut allergy and should be properly screened by a pediatrician, as even trace amounts of peanut products could cause a reaction. A skin or blood test may be performed to check your child’s response to peanuts and look for allergy signs.
What are the signs of a peanut allergy in children?
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, often coming on suddenly and lasting for hours. Mild symptoms may include hives on the face and mouth or a rash. Signs of a more severe allergic reaction include:
- Widespread hives
- Tongue or facial swelling
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling of the lips
My child has a peanut allergy. Now what?
While there isn’t a way to cure a peanut allergy the best treatment option is to simply avoid consuming peanuts and peanut products. Your child’s pediatrician can provide you with an extensive list of products your child will need to avoid. Make sure that they also don’t share food with other kids at school. Your pediatrician may also prescribe an EpiPen, which is to be used if your child has a severe allergic reaction. Your pediatrician may also recommend that your child see a pediatric allergist who can provide further and more specialized recommendations.
If your child is showing signs of a peanut allergy, call your child’s pediatrician today to schedule an evaluation. If you simply have questions about incorporating peanuts into your child’s diet to reduce their risk for an allergy, your pediatrician can also provide you with expert advice.
What are the signs and symptoms of chickenpox?
Chickenpox is notorious for causing fluid-filled and intensely itchy blisters on the body. Chickenpox blisters typically appear about 10 to 21 days after being exposed to the virus, and symptoms can last up to 10 days. In the beginning, your child may only show symptoms of a cold including loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, headache, and overall malaise. They may also experience a stomachache or sore throat. These symptoms will often appear before the rash.
The rash often starts on the face or stomach and then spreads throughout the rest of the body. Once the blisters break open, they will crust over and eventually fall off. It’s important that kids do not scratch these blisters, as this can lead to infections and scarring.
Is there a way to treat chickenpox?
Since chickenpox is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not be effective at treating this infection. Most treatment options are aimed at providing relief from symptoms while the body gets rid of the infection. If your child is at risk for complications related to chickenpox, their pediatrician may prescribe antiviral medication. Simple home care can help to alleviate discomfort due to chickenpox. This includes taking oatmeal baths and applying cold compresses to the blisters.
Is chickenpox preventable?
Absolutely. There is a chickenpox vaccine that all kids can and should get from their pediatrician. Even if kids still end up getting chickenpox after getting the vaccine, their symptoms will be much milder. If your child has already had chickenpox then they do not need to get vaccinated as they already have lifelong immunity.
If you have questions or concerns about chickenpox, or whether your child should get vaccinated, don’t hesitate to call your child’s pediatrician to learn more.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.