UAMS.EDU

New Moms – Summertime Safety

TessaIvyby Tesa Ivey, APN

Those glorious three months of summer fun we look forward to each and every year are finally here! Outdoor activities and warm weather fun that we can’t wait to dive into. However this time of year can be grueling with an active toddler. We wanted to bring to your attention several safety tips that are especially important when young children are involved.

Water Safety: First and foremost teach your children to respect the water! Swimming, tubing, boating, and other water games can all be wonderful family fun but can also lead to serious injury. It is never a bad idea for everyone, but especially children on board a moving water vessel, to wear a floatation device.  Be aware that your state may have laws that specify requirements for wearing personal floatation devices.

Swimming is the third most popular recreational activity in the United States and the most popular recreational activity for children and teens. According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of injury related death in children 14 and under. Recent studies have demonstrated that drowning victims are not as we typically see them portrayed on TV. Having an assigned lookout person at all times who is accountable for those in the water is a must. This person cannot be distracted by alternate activities like reading a book or playing cards. Scan the BOTTOM of the swimming area often. Drowning victims are not thrashing about on the TOP of the water.

Bugs, Bites, and Bad things: Along with the sun there’s got to be a little rain some times. Summer brings out all these pesky little things that have been hiding out all winter. Spiders often will nest behind or in items that have not been moved for some time like your lawn and garden equipment, bikes, and buckets. Bees, yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets are also on the prowl and even a few stings in a small child can be fatal. Keep antihistamines readily available in the event of multiple stings or allergic reaction. Snakes are big fans of the sun as well! Most in this area are not poisonous but remind your children that some are and it is difficult to tell which is which sometimes. I can just hear my little man saying… “I bet I can catch a big fish with this giant worm I found.”
In the event your child is bitten by a snake, assume it is poisonous!
1.    Seek medical attention immediately
2.    Keep affected area below the level of the heart and restrict movement
3.    If the snake can be killed or identified easily then do so. However do not waste time hunting for the snake.
4.    Do NOT apply a tourniquet, place cold compresses, cut into the bite, or suck out the venom by mouth.

Also be mindful of those items you may be using around the house like lawn chemicals, bug killer, and other various items can look like candy to a child. Keep them put up and out of the reach of little hands.

Accidents and other mishaps: Children by nature are not the most graceful or cautious. They are inquisitive and daring at times. Fortunately most of the time falls and accidents end with just a skinned knee and scratches. Trips to the emergency room for summer stitches, strains, sprains, and broken bones are common. Make every effort to keep your child’s play area safe. Make sure playground equipment is not broken or loose and do not allow your child to play with or on things that are not meant for play. A helmet should be used in any activity that could potentially injure a child’s head. This includes bike riding, skateboarding, ATV riding, and even some high-speed water sports like tubing.

The list could go on and on… These are just a few safety tips to keep your little ones from harm this summer. Let them have fun and be adventurous but make every effort to keep them safe!

Sun and sunglasses