Your summer plans may include hitting the beach, or just spending more time outdoors with your children. However, the summer is a peak time for accidental injuries as children have more time unsupervised or are maybe looked after by a young babysitter or older sibling. Babyem have outlined their top tips for keeping children safe this summer.
Seek shade for your children and avoid having your children exposed during the strongest rays of the day between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Young children are less able to regulate their body temperature, putting them more at risk of overheating and becoming dehydrated.
Use sunscreen consistently, ensuring the label says it contains both UVA and UVB protection. For children six months and older, use at least SPF 30, preferably higher and reapply it every two hours. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, especially the face, ears, neck, shoulders, and arms which are most exposed to the sun. Don’t put sunscreen on your children’s eyelids, since it can sting if it gets in their eyes.
Keep infants out of the sun. Sunscreen is not recommended for infants under six months old. If they must be in the sun, dress them in clothing that covers their body such as lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn.
The skin around the eyes is vulnerable to UV damage too, so children should wear sunglasses starting at 6 months. Look for child-size sunglasses that offer at least 99 percent UVA and UVB protection, cover as much skin as possible (wraparound styles are great), and are impact or shatter resistant.
If it is a sunny day, apply waterproof sunscreen to ensure protection even when the child is in water. Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and after swimming.
Always ensure children drink lots of water in order to keep hydrated in the sun. If a child feels dizzy or very hot, ensure they sit down in a cool area, rest and drink plenty of fluids.
In the heat babies are also at greater risk of becoming dehydrated. To ensure they are adequately hydrated, offer them their usual feeding of breast milk or formula. The water content in both will help keep them well hydrated.
Take water safety seriously
Playing in water is great fun for children of all ages. However, swimming pools, lakes, ponds and beaches can also be dangerous places if children are not supervised properly.
Did you know that children can drown in less than two inches of water? Always be mindful of areas inside and outside the home that might be a potential hazard such as baths, fountains, paddling pools and swimming pools. All children are vulnerable in water and should always be closely monitored.
Outdoor and indoor swimming pools can be dangerous areas to play in. Even when they are covered, children may try to walk over the top of the cover and get trapped underneath. It is important to teach children to stay away from water without your supervision.
Never leave a child alone in a paddling pool. Once playtime has finished, always remove toys as children may be tempted to collect these on their own and empty the water out of the paddling pool.
Accidents in lakes, rivers and reservoirs account for more than half of all water-related deaths in the UK. Swimming in a pool is very different to swimming in a lake it is important to teach children about the potential dangers and dress appropriately.
Always supervise children. Lakes may seem shallow near the bank, but will increase in depth sharply further than the shore. The water temperature can also decrease rapidly, causing a child’s body temperature to drop and potentially cause breathing difficulties. Even if a child is a confident swimmer, you should still supervise at all times, it can take only 3 minutes to become exhausted if you get into difficulty.
Lakes may have broken glass, sharp rocks or rubbish in the water, which could easily cut and hurt a child. Always encourage children to wear sensible footwear, such as aqua socks or water shoes. You should also be mindful of any weeds or long grass areas, where a child could easily get their leg tangled.
Children should only swim at beaches where there is a lifeguard on duty and where they can be easily seen. The sea can be particularly dangerous, due to unpredictable currents and tides.
Be prepared and complete a First Aid Course to ensure you know what to do in an emergency. Babyem deliver first aid courses for parents and childcarers in central London as well as private sessions for parents.