Keeping Your Child Safe This Summer

Author

Florida Medical Clinic

Hello Life.

A message from Joe Delatorre, CEO

With the lazy days of summer upon us, Florida Medical Clinic wants to make sure nothing interferes with the special memories you’ll be making. Take a look at tips from our doctors to stay safe this summer.

Florida Medical Clinic is looking forward to the opening of our new Watergrass facility in the coming weeks. Families in the area will enjoy access to care provided by doctors in family medicine, psychiatry, cardiology, allergy, gynecology, urology, labs and radiology, all conveniently located together under one roof. We look forward to meeting our new neighbors soon.

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Keeping Your Kids Safe This Summer

Summer is a great time to relax, unwind and enjoy fun activities with friends and family. Florida Medical Clinic want to ensure your summer memories are happy ones by providing a few tips and reminders for keeping your kids safe and healthy during the summer months.

SUN SAFETY

Sunshine is year around in Florida and it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, even on cloudy days. Damage is caused to the body by the invisible ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Excessive exposure without protection can cause sunburn, eye damage and skin cancer which is the most common of all cancers.

The risks of sunburn, which include early aging and skin cancer, all increase as you spend more time in the sun. People of all skin colors are at risk from the sun’s harmful effects and should take steps to protect themselves. We all know that applying sunscreen often and at an appropriate SPF is critical. This can become challenging with kids who may not want to take the time to apply sunscreen before jumping in the pool. An excellent way to accomplish this task is to establish a routine. Apply sunscreen to yourself and your children before you leave the house. This will allow time for it to absorb into the skin.  It is recommended that sunscreen be applied 30 minutes prior to going outside and then every two hours during exposure and immediately after swimming. By establishing this routine, you will also be encouraging long-term habits for maintaining healthy skin.

We often think about protecting our skin from the sun and our eyes are equally important. Direct and indirect exposure from the sun can have damaging effects on the eyes, both immediate and long-term. It is important to protect children’s eyes with sunglasses or a hat. Sunglasses should offer 100% UV protection and wide brimmed hats further shield the eyes and face from the sun’s rays.

SPORTS

Sports are a great way for kids to stay active and get outside during the summer and there are tips they can follow to stay safe in the Florida heat. While they may do a good job of taking water breaks during practice and games, it’s also important for children to hydrate well before heading out the field to avoid dehydration. Taking plenty of breaks and seeking time in the shade will also help to prevent heat exhaustion.

SWIMMING

Kids can spend an entire afternoon in a swimming pool and emerge shriveled, sunburned and dehydrated. But remember, just because they are cooling off in water does not mean they don’t need regular sips of water to hydrate. Taking breaks out of the direct sun is also essential.

Safe practices around water is vital. Even if the child knows how to swim, they should never be left unattended. An adult should always be present when children are around water. A safety device should always be worn if your child does not know how to swim. Investing in swimming lessons is always good, especially in Florida. While you may not have a swimming pool, we are surrounded by bodies of water, neighbors with swimming pools, and ample opportunities to be lured to cool off in the summer heat.

PLAYGROUNDS

Who doesn’t love an afternoon at the playground? Pack a picnic, lay down a blanket, and watch the kids spill all their energy into one of the most beautiful summer activities. But did you know that, according to the CDC, each year in the United States, emergency rooms treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries? And about 45% of playground-related injuries are severe–fractures, concussions, and dislocations.

While we cannot prevent all accidents from happening, an excellent way to mitigate them and help keep children safe is for parents to take a few minutes to check out the playground upon arrival. Be mindful of where the obstacles are hiding and point them out to your children. And know the signs of one of the most common playground injuries – a concussion. A fall or blow to the head can result in dizziness, vomiting, and disorientation. Sometimes, these signs are overlooked when mistaken for symptoms of dehydration.

Another common summer time playground danger in Florida is the temperature of playground equipment. Temperatures can quickly escalate in the summer heat. Parents should always touch the equipment to assess whether or not it’s too hot for their child. In Florida, playground equipment can reach extreme temperatures, resulting in second and third-degree burns. On an average 80-degree day, a plastic slide can register up to 160 degrees, which doesn’t factor in the metal parts of the jungle gym. Anything a child sits on or touches, including slides, swings and monkey bars, can result in burns.

WEATHER

There’s nothing like a tropical rainstorm in the middle of the afternoon. People who haven’t been to Florida are often quite surprised to discover how frequently it rains in the Sunshine State. But we locals know this is a welcome respite and a time to take a deep breath and get out of the sun. But along with these rainstorms often comes lightning. Because of the density of our population and because people love to be outside, more people are struck and killed by lightning in Florida than in any other state. Avoid high places during a lightning storm, and don’t hide under an isolated tree. Avoid metal and electricity, tall signs, high poles, and open fields like golf courses, and get out of the water.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Good weather means lots of outdoor fun, including camping, biking, and other outdoor activities. Biking, skateboarding, and scootering all require helmets. Not only is there a risk of breaking a bone or scraping the skin, but a blow to the head can result in a concussion.

As for the campers, we’ve never met a s’more we didn’t like. Campfires are a great summer tradition and probably the best part of camping. if you ask us. With the apparent fire hazard, it’s essential to be mindful of fire safety rules and how to start and put out a fire properly. Embers, smoke inhalation, and eager little mouths connecting with hot marshmallows are all campfire risks.

HOLIDAYS & GATHERINGS

Summer means holidays. And that comes with a whole host of reasons to be mindful. Kids get distracted, parents let loose, and lots can happen around water, fire, and fireworks. Children should never be unsupervised with fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers have been known to cause severe burns, and if multiple are clutched together can create a surge of flame that can leave a child severely burned.

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If you ask us, there’s no better time of year and no better time to be a kid. The connection we build with our children and families during these times will create long-lasting summer memories. We don’t have to helicopter and police them but rather create and establish safe habits and routines to help them become more mindful, active, healthy kids.

Enjoy your summer and know that Florida Medical Clinic will continue to innovate in order to provide the best patient experience possible and evolve to meet the ever changing environment of medical services and healthcare.

TAGS:

Family Medicine • General Practice • Healthy Living • Urgent Care

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