Summer brings sunshine, get togethers and opportunities for wonderful memories with loved ones.  However, even though this time of year is full of fun in the sun, it also increases the chances of dealing with pesky bug bites, dehydration and unwanted incidents like sunburns.

Here are a few summer safety tips to ensure that everyone enjoys the delightful season.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen.

Temperatures in Texas very frequently soar into the triple digits, which can be dangerous for skin if left unprotected.  A child’s skin is more sensitive to the damages of the sun, so it is important to keep them protected. According to the Mayo Clinic, an SPF of 30 or higher offers the best protection against the sun’s UV rays.  Applying sunscreen 30 minutes before heading out the door will provide enough time for the sunscreen to bind to the skin for extra protection. Ultraviolet light from the sun can begin to break down sunscreen very quickly, so it is important to reapply it to your little one’s face and body every two hours if they are in the sun, and more frequently if they are sweating or swimming.

Sun protective clothing is also an additional way to protect the skin.  Many retailers offer a wide variety of clothing options to keep children safe just look for tags that have an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 25 or higher.  It is important to note that even if a child is wearing the proper UV-protective clothing, it is still recommended that they wear sunscreen underneath.

Drink water.

Did you know that 50 to 70 percent of our body is made up of water? Staying hydrated is important every day of the year, but becomes vital when more time is spent in the heat because our bodies lose more water.

To stay properly hydrated, kids under the age of 3 require 4 cups of beverages (like milk and water) daily, while kids under the age of 8 need 5 cups, and older children need between 7 and 8 cups. Fruits with a high-water concentrate, like watermelon and grapefruit, is another great way to maintain hydration while also providing a nourishing treat!

Avoid bug bites.

When the weather gets warmer, bugs like gnats and mosquitoes come out in full force. To avoid bites, after applying sunscreen you should also apply insect repellant prior to spending time outdoors and cover arms and legs as frequently as possible.   

Check for car safety.

One of the most common summer traditions is hitting the highway for a scenic road trip.  Be sure to check that the car seat is properly fitted to your vehicle, as well as your child’s height and weight.

The summer months are also a great time to instill a routine with your little ones that teaches them to always look both ways before crossing any road. This animated video does a great job of explaining the importance safety when crossing the street.

Keep watch to prevent drowning.

Living in Texas offers great opportunities to visit beautiful beaches, pools and lakes. However, when enjoying these summertime staples it is important to keep your eyes on those around you, especially children, to prevent accidents.

Always be sure that kids have proper devices to stay afloat in the water, such as swimming vests or floaties. It is also very important to make sure that fences or barriers around a swimming pool are well maintained to keep kids out of an unsupervised area.

The summer season can be magical and full of fun memories.  We hope the resources above will help bring some peace of mind as you navigate this time of year.  

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