This is a wonderful time for children and families, most of the schools are out and many families plan trips and enjoy summertime fun. As a Family Nurse Practitioner in the Healthcare Clinic, I see some children and parents that may not be having fun and would like to share a few tips (from experience) that will help you to avoid some of the illnesses and problems I see.
Swimming and watersports provide many health benefits, these activities help keep your children active and happy, and they sleep better, too! Let’s keep it that way. So many “swimmer’s ear” incidents can be easily prevented by wearing ear plugs and using a few drops of an over the counter product for swimmers ear after your water play. Other common problems seen in the Clinic from watersports are sunburn and allergic rashes from suntan lotion. By wearing a light (weight and colored) long sleeve shirt, some burns and skin blisters could be prevented. If using SPF 15 or higher suntan lotion, test it before covering large areas of your child’s body. You do not want to see your beautiful child covered in bright pink blotches!
Outdoor summer camp is such a great thing for children, they learn new things, meet new friends, enjoy nature…..my child wound up in the emergency room due to her allergy to certain trees! Remember the daily allergy medicine if your child is inclined to seasonal allergies.
Occasionally a parent brings the child because there are pinpoint red spots with swollen dime sized itchy areas on the feet or legs or hands after building sand castles or playing in the park and picnicking. Have you ever heard of sand fleas or mosquitoes? A light spray of a natural repellant could have prevented that awful mess.
I could write a long book about summer safety, keeping your child hydrated with lots of fluids and water, but will only share two more important things to think about during the summer:
- Please remember to get a physical for your child during the slow season at the clinics you will need one if changing schools, moving or starting school.
- If your child will be entering 7th grade, make sure he or she has the Tdap Vaccine. This is a requirement and your child will be sent home on the first day if this is forgotten.
Have this done before the school year starts so you don’t have to panic and wait for hours the day before school.
Hoping these tips were helpful, honestly when I read this draft to my 24 year old, she rolled her eyes and laughed because she still remembers the earaches, sunburn, bug bites, and allergic reaction. It wasn’t funny at the time. Maybe those things happened so I could share it and help prevent these minor disasters so you can enjoy your summer family fun.