Summer’s Here – For Some: Ouch!

Summer’s here, Martha and the Vandellas sang in 1964, and the time is right for dancing in the street. However, it’s also the time Moms and Dads have to be vigilant and prepared for a raft of summertime injuries, even during this unsteady time with the world’s focus on a global pandemic.

Certainly, kids play rough – a lot rougher than you remembered from your youth, although it’s likely you worried your parents in your day, too. Kids not only play hard, but they tend to forget the basic safety tips that parents worry about. Here are some of the most likely summertime snafus that can be best mitigated by being prepared.

Here Comes The Sun

That glorious sun that many anticipate with reckless abandon is the greatest joy of summer. But the sun can also turn against you with painful sunburns and even more dangerous sun exposure that can prompt episodes of skin cancer. One line of protection for the summer sun is, of course, keeping your skin covered. Long-sleeved shirts may be uncomfortable in the summer, but a wide-brimmed hat or cap can be invaluable for protecting your face.

If long-sleeved shirts and trousers are out of the question, you can apply sunscreen lotion. Most highly recommended sunscreen protection starts at the level of 30 SPF or higher. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor with higher numbers indicating more protection. As a quick guide, SPR 15 blocks out 93 percent of harmful UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks out 97 percent, while SPF 50 blocks out 98 percent.

Another factor to worry about when applying sunscreen lotion is the potential for water to wash off the lotion. Kids not only love to swim in the summer, but they also sweat a lot. If this is the case, look for water-resistant sunscreen and sunscreen that is high in zinc oxide, which physically interferes with the sun’s harmful rays, causing the sun rays to scatter and not reach the skin.

Bug Bites and Stings

The common bug bites include mosquitoes, biting flies and gnats, and stinging insects, such as honey bees, bumblebees, wasps, and hornets.

For the most part, the biting insects can inflict a painful bite, but the pain ends when the biting is done – most of the time. In contrast, a stinging insect injects you with a poison that causes more lasting pain and swelling. Of course, no one enjoys bites or stings. It pays to be alert to their presence but also to not provoke a stinging insect. They are likely just going about their own business and do not sting unless provoked or when you have somehow disturbed their nest.

An allergy to stinging insects requires parents to stay extra vigilant and keep the appropriate medical response on hand. Check with your doctor to see what is the most appropriate medication to keep on hand in case of an allergic reaction to a bite or sting.

Mild reactions include a red bump and moderate pain, while moderate reactions require a higher level of response. A severe reaction includes symptoms such as itching feet, swollen tongue, trouble breathing (like an asthma attack), a rapid pulse, nausea, dizziness, hives, and even loss of consciousness.

Heat Stroke and Dehydration

Heatstroke can be caused by hot temperatures, but it can also be caused by prolonged high levels of exertion – by simply overdoing it. Dehydration is also a serious contributor to heatstroke incidents, which can cause long-term damage if it is not dealt with right away.

The symptoms of heatstroke include rash, headaches, a confused mental state, dizziness, nausea, hives, high body temperature, and a rapid heart rate. This condition can cause dangerous swelling of vital organs, including the brain, which can result in permanent injury.

A quick response to heatstroke or dehydration is to quickly cool the body down and hydrate with cool or cold fluids right away.

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