Summer Safety: Tips For Parents

Summer Safety: Tips For Parents | UPMC Italy

With the end of the school year, many families take their little ones to the beach or the pool, and children spend a lot of time outdoors. We share some simple tips to protect them during the hotter months and let them enjoy a carefree and safe summer.

Keeping Children Safe in Water

According to data from the World Health Organization, a staggering 236,000 people drown every year. These accidents occur in open sea, rivers, and pools, even in shallow water, and the most frequent victims are children up to 9 years old. How can you have fun in the water safely?

  • Enroll children in a swimming course and don't forget to make them wear arm floats and rings.
  • Closely supervise children when they are in or near water, always staying close to the youngest ones.
  • Empty inflatable pools and tubs as soon as you finish using them.
  • Larger pools should always be protected by barriers when not in use. A fence at least one and a half meters high surrounding all sides of the pool with self-closing and self-latching gates is recommended.
  • Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic water rescue techniques by taking appropriate courses.
  • If you go boating this summer, ensure children always wear life jackets.

Always Wear a Helmet

During this time of year, many children spend time at the park on bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and roller skates. Wearing a helmet is crucial as it can prevent nearly 90% of head injuries. The first step is to set a good example: remember to always wear a helmet before getting on a scooter, motorcycle, bicycle, or scooter, and ensure your children always wear theirs. Choose certified helmets and wear them properly, level on the head and just above the eyebrows, fastening them securely under the chin.

Heat Protection

Summer encourages many outdoor activities, however, high temperatures pose a risk to young children, causing heatstroke, for example. It’s important to know how to protect them:

  • Avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day, preferring early morning or late afternoon.
  • Heat causes sweating and consequently the loss of fluids. Water and fruit, rich in mineral salts, become essential. Teach children to drink plenty, before and during physical activity, even if they are not thirsty, especially if exposed to the sun.
  • Have them wear light, loose-fitting clothes made of cotton and light colors, avoiding synthetic garments. Prefer straw hats, as other fabrics might retain heat, causing the head to overheat. When in the sun, wearing a cotton T-shirt can help reduce the risk of sunburn, but sunscreen should always be applied.
  • From 6 months onwards, always apply sunscreen with SPF 50+, 20 minutes before exposure, reapplying every two hours and after every swim, even if the sunscreen is waterproof.
  • Use air conditioning to maintain a constant temperature around 25 degrees and set the dehumidifier.
  • Nutrition can be a valuable ally in combating the heat. Favor fresh and easily digestible dishes, and avoid foods rich in fats.

We protect children's health all year round, but in summer it is necessary to pay even more attention, to ensure the whole family can enjoy the outdoors safely and peacefully.

Find out more about the pediatric services of UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital.