Summer holidays are the perfect time to explore and play outdoors. However, this increases the likelihood of injury. Alok Patel, MDa pediatrician at Stanford Children’s Hospital, says the most common summer injuries are falls, sports injuries and drownings.

“Parents and caregivers should think about all summer and outdoor activities and take precautions to prevent injury,” says Dr. Patel.

  • Swimming: Children should have age-appropriate swimming lessons and should never be in the water unsupervised. This is especially important when you are in open waterlike on a lake or in the ocean. Make sure a lifeguard is near you and an adult should always be at arm’s length from small children.
  • To ride a bike: Wearing well-fitted helmets while cycling is an absolute must. This reduces the risk head injury up to 90 percent for both children and their parents.
  • Hiking: Make sure you stick to paved or marked hiking trails, wear protective clothing, use insect repellant, and take plenty of water with you, even if it’s a short hike. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking 6-8 liters of water with you per day for hiking in warm weather. If you’re going to be camping or playing outdoors in an area known for ticks, be sure to check for pests after every adventure.
  • Travel: Pay attention to any travel vaccine requirements and pay attention to any health risks in different areas. Some states or countries may have other alerts, such as local outbreaks or mosquito-borne diseases. An excellent resource is CDC Summer Guide. Remember to apply the same principles to prevent illness: wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, and encourage others to do the same.

Cool down with these tips

The hot summer months can be too tough for toddlers if they’re outside for too long, especially if they’re under 4 years old. Dr. Patel says young children cannot regulate their body temperature the way adults do. . Also more likely to get sunburnt. So make sure kids drink plenty of water, apply sunscreen, and cover up, especially during the peak hours of sunshine, which usually run from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

“Because of my age, heat stroke and dehydration may be more difficult to identify in young children,” warns Dr. Patel. “Parents should be aware of the signs of heat stroke, such as fever, flushing, headache, confusion, nausea, or changes in breathing. Symptoms can progress to confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures and coma if left untreated.”

Don’t forget to stay active

As the temperature rises, children can stay inside. They also don’t have scheduled PE classes and breaks as usual during the school year to keep them moving.

Current CDC recommendations include at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day for individuals aged 6 years and older, and American Academy of Pediatrics recommends three full hours or 15 minutes per hour of physical activity per day for children ages 3 to 5.

“We as a society are certainly far from that, as most teenagers are not following physical activity guidelines,” says Tim Liu, a physical therapist at the Stanford Center for Child Health. “BUT recent WHO-led study found that 81% of children aged 11 to 17 were not active enough.”

Liu mentions the many benefits that can be gained from exercise, including improved metabolic health, better cardiovascular health, better bone density, and reduced risk of chronic disease. To encourage activity, parents can see what their children are interested in, or offer different options to see what might attract their children.

“With younger children, we are likely to see more engagement if these activities take place in an environment where the focus is on fun and they enjoy participating in the activity,” he says.

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