Good For You! (Health and Wellness)

Healthy Body - Healthy Mind


Are You Ready For The Summertime?

(Tips from

Summer time is now here. For most children, this means more outdoor activities (swimming, camping, bike riding, etc…) and with the 4th of July celebration, fireworks. For all parents, this means being extra vigilant to keep your child safe and healthy. Here are some tips to keep your child safe this summer.

Swimming Safety
Healthy Swimming behaviors are needed to protect you and your kids from recreational water illnesses, like diarrhea, and will help stop germs from getting in the pool in the first place.

Open Water Swimming

  • Never swim alone. Even good swimmers need buddies!
  • A lifeguard (or another adult who knows about water rescue) needs to be watching children whenever they are in or near the water. Younger children should be closely supervised while in or near the water – use “touch supervision,” keeping no more than an arm’s length away. 
  • Make sure your child knows never to dive into water except when permitted by an adult who knows the depth of the water and who has checked for underwater objects.
  • Never let your child swim in canals or any fast moving water.
  • Ocean swimming should only be allowed when a lifeguard is on duty.


Prevent Dehydration

Make sure kids drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day and eat foods with a high water content such as oranges, apples and celery sticks. If kids are playing in the hot part of the day (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) send them out with plenty of water and ask that they take a break each hour. Teach older kids the signs of dehydration such as headache, exhaustion, and tingling hands and feet. Also, remind kids of the importance of sunscreen: as the Mayo Clinic states, sunburn inhibits the body's ability to cool itself, which can lead to dehydration.

Sun Exposure

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Reserve these hours for indoor craft projects. If kids must be outside make sure they cover up with a wide brimmed hat and cotton clothing. Reapply sunscreen every two hours. Use about 1 oz. of sunscreen at each application to ensure adequate coverage.

 Insect Repellents
Insect repellents can protect your children from insects that commonly bite children, including mosquitoes, gnats, chiggers, etc. Safe and effective insect repellents include those with deet, citronella and soybean oil.

In addition to not always recognizing chigger bites, parents sometimes have misconceptions about the best way to treat them. Learn how to avoid and treat chigger bites on your kids.

Sun Screens to Prevent Sun Damage
Sun screens can help to protect your child from damage from sun exposure and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Learn to pick a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and which offers UVA and UVB protection, plus other tips to keep your kids safe in the sun.


Summertime Food Safety
Foodborne illness and food poisoning do increase in the summer months, when the weather is warmer, allowing bacteria to grow faster, and more people are having picnics, barbecues and camping trips. Learn food safety tips to keep your children safe this summertime.


Choosing Sunglasses
As you slather on sunscreen to protect your skin this summer, don't forget sunglasses to protect your eyes. The same harmful rays that damage skin can also increase your risk of developing eye problems, such as cataracts--a clouding of the eye's lens that develops over years.

Summer Camps and Summer Vacation
A summer camp, whether it is a local day camp or an overnight sleep away camp, can be a great way to keep your kids occupied over the summer. But instead of overscheduling your kids with camps all summer, be sure to allow some time for free play.

Related Links

  • CDC Healthy Living
    Health and nutrition topics for all ages.

  • Spark People
    A wonderful site for nutrition/diet and exercise. Contains daily tracker to track your progress.

  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
    Information and support for young diabetics

  • Breast Cancer Early Detection
    Information on prevention, treatment and plenty of Q & A's

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