Summer is the time for fun outdoor activities. Sometimes accidents happen, but don’t let a bite, bruise or burn spoil your child’s good time. Though prevention is key, know how to handle injuries.
Bites/stings Use insect repellent with ten percent DEET to prevent mosquito bites that may transmit West Nile Virus. Avoid the outdoors at dusk/dawn. Use anti-itch cream for bites. Bees commonly leave their stinger behind. Scrape it away with a credit card, then wash the area with soap and water and apply an ice pack. See your heath care provider right away if your child has trouble breathing, facial or tongue swelling, signs of infection or faints.
Wounds Apply pressure with a cloth or bandage until bleeding stops. Wash the area with water, and apply an antibiotic cream and bandage. If the wound is wide-open, appears infected or the bleeding won’t stop, see your provider immediately.
Sunburn Every sunburn increases the lifetime risk of skin cancer. Prevention includes frequent, liberal use of sunscreen (with an SPF of 15 or greater, avoiding products containing DEET that double as an insect repellent), protective clothing, sunglasses and a hat. Sunburn causes pain, redness and blistering. For severe pain and blisters, consult your health care provider.
Bruises Your child should wear a bicycle helmet and other protective equipment during activities on wheels. Bumps and bruises are common, and most require nothing more than an ice pack. If your child loses consciousness, has severe pain or swelling or cannot move a part of her body, see your provider right away. Important safety tip: If you own a gun, keep it locked up and unloaded, with bullets in a separate location, and keys hidden.
Have a fun, safe summer!
Kathy Kent, RN, ND, CPNP, is a certified PNP at Northpoint Pediatrics, Indianapolis, IN, and owns BABY SQUAD, LLC, which educates parents on child safety.