With Jessica Raines, ARNP
It’s always good to review a couple of pearls to keep sunburns and water accidents from ruining your summer fun.
Before going out in the sun with your child, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to their exposed skin to avoid sunburns. If your baby is under four months, he or she should be kept out of direct sunlight. Otherwise, apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater to your child’s exposed skin 30 minutes prior to sun exposure to be effective. Reapply every 1-2 hours or after swimming. If your child gets a sunburn that results in blistering, pain or fever, please contact our office
Living in northeast Florida gives our family so many fun opportunities to enjoy the water. Like you, I want to keep my boys safe while they are swimming or participating in water activities. When infants or toddlers are in or around the water, an adult with swimming skills should be within an arm’s length, providing constant supervision. It’s easy to get distracted by cell phones or conversations, so designate an adult who can take turns with other adults to watch the children.
Children and others who lack strong swimming skills should also wear life jackets when playing in or near the water. Studies show that fencing can prevent more than half of all swimming pool drownings of young children so it’s very important to make sure the gates to the fence are locked and closed at all times. Everyone, including parents, caregivers and older children, should learn CPR and safe rescue techniques to respond to a drowning.
Swallowed pool water can be dangerous too. If a child swallows too much water, the concentration of salt in the body can be lowered to a dangerous level and may cause seizures. Each summer we receive many calls with concerns about “dry drowning,” or “secondary drowning” after a child has been swimming or submerged momentarily under the water. There are no medically accepted conditions known as dry drowning or secondary drowning.
If you or your child has a cough or breathing difficulty that seems more severe than what happens when a drink goes “down the wrong pipe” in the throat, then medical evaluation and care should be sought. If symptoms develop more than eight hours after coming out of the water, then odds are that something else is going on and different diagnoses should be considered unrelated to the spectrum of drowning.
Have a safe and fun summer!
(Link for AAP Swimming tips: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Swim-Safety-Tips.aspx