6 Summer Safety Tips for Outdoor Play for Little Ones
Sunscreen is often the first thing that comes to mind when we think about protecting our little ones for outdoor play during the summer, and for good reason: A baby’s skin is up to 30 percent thinner than an adult’s. But protecting those sensitive epidermises from UVA and UVB rays is just the start. Parents also need to make sure they keep active kids cool and protected from cuts, scrapes, bug bites and rashes this time of year.
Here’s how to keep your little babies, toddlers and little kids safe during the summer.
Sun Safety: For babies under six months, avoid sun exposure and keep them out of direct sun. Dress in lightweight long pants and shirts and have baby wear a hat.
For older kids, stay in the shade whenever possible. Limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Have them wear a hat that shades the face and neck, and use sunglasses that provide 97%-100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Cover up with clothing with a tight weave.
Kids six months and older can start wearing sunscreen. On both sunny and cloudy days, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, like AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION® Lotion Sunscreen, 30 minutes before going outside, and be sure to apply enough. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
Keeping Cool: Babies and small children are much more susceptible to dehydration and heat exhaustion than are adults. Limit little ones’ time outdoors during peak sun hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., make them take regular breaks to drink fluids, and make sure they follow the above tips for sun protection.
Bug Off: Protect your baby from bug bites by keeping your surroundings clean and dry, since mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. When on the go in buggy areas, dress your child in light colors, as insects are thought to be attracted to dark colors. If you want to use bug spray, the CDC says that you can use insect repellents with chemicals including DEET on children after they reach two months. Be sure to follow directions for use as listed on the repellent package. Protect infants by using mosquito netting.
Poison Ivy Protection: Plants like poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac flourish in warm weather, and often creep into garden areas around homes. To protect your child from contracting the painful rashes that these plants cause, dress them in long pants and long sleeves and even gloves if you think they’ll be playing in areas with these plants. If you think they have come in contact with one of these plants, wash their skin as soon as possible with soap and warm water. The irritating oil from these poison plants can also travel on clothes, toys, sports equipment and even family pets. If you think these may have been soiled, take measures to clean before a child comes in contact with them. Be prepared to treat rashes with topical ointments like BENADRYL®, and continued washing.
Boo-Boo Maintenance: Minor cuts and scrapes can be badges of carefree summer fun. When they occur, be sure to gently wash the wound with soap and water. Be prepared to tend to these minor wounds with antibiotic ointments and bandages – such as NEOSPORIN® Antibiotic Ointment and BAND-AID® BRAND Adhesive Bandages. And remember, it’s always better to cover a wound until it’s completely healed.
Practice Pool Safety: Heading to the swimming pool with your kids? Remember these essential pool safety tips: Always know where your children are, make sure they swim with a buddy and stress that they always walk – never run – near the pool. As a parent, knowing CPR and teaching your children to swim as soon as they are able are also critical, and if you have a home pool, ensure that it is always fully fenced and gated to make it hard for any child – whether yours or one from the neighborhood – to wander in without an adult present.
©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2016