I’ve partnered with I Vaccinate to share my story and this content is sponsored by I Vaccinate.
With the school year coming to an end, summer is right around the corner. After a tumultuous year, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all hopeful for a fun, light-hearted and adventurous summer. This past year has been full of ups and downs with our routines constantly changing due to restrictions and shutdowns so I’m looking forward to the slow and light-heartedness that summer brings with it.
Whether your family is spending the summer at home, road tripping, at the beach or pool, keep these tips in mind to keep your family safe and healthy all summer long:
Maintain Well Visits and Immunizations
In the midst of summertime sun and splashes, don’t forget to keep up with your well-visits and immunizations! With the emergence of COVID, we had temporarily put our children’s well visits on hold and just recently realized that we forgot to reschedule and have fallen behind on their childhood immunizations. We’ve always been careful to make sure that our children have their vaccines on schedule in order to protect them from preventable diseases (vaccines protect our kiddos from 16 diseases —including HPV, which can cause six types of cancer). When immunization rates in the community drop, it makes it easier for serious vaccine-preventable diseases to spread.
I know vaccines have been a hot topic, especially this year. As parents it’s our job to constantly question and ensure the safety of our kiddos, but part of that means making sure to get our information from credible and evidence-based resources. Research has shown that vaccines are safe, effective and help protect everyone around you. Vaccines go through lengthy and intense safety testing prior to being approved and currently the U.S. has the safest and most effective vaccines supply in its history. Your child’s pediatrician or doctor is a wonderful source of knowledge for any questions you may have and ivaccinate.org has a plethora of science-based information and studies to answer all your vaccine questions. When searching online sources, look for reputable sites like I Vaccinate, for evidence-based resources. I Vaccinate provides information & tools based on real medical science and research to help Michigan parents protect their kids.
If you’re concerned about visiting your doctor during the pandemic, please know that providers are taking many precautions to maintain safety and cleanliness during this time. Staff wear masks, social distance, wash hands and repeatedly sanitize rooms for patient use, while also only allowing a few patients in at a time in order to reduce exposure. Our visits have been seamless, and I’m constantly impressed with the steps that are being taken to ensure that everyone is staying healthy during this time.
We all love beach and pool days, but it’s so important to remember swim safety! Accidental drownings are one of the leading causes of death and injury for kiddos, so keeping some water safety in mind is a must! A few tips to keep in mind:
- Never allow children to be unsupervised around water! A responsible adult must be with children at all times. Teach children that they must ALWAYS ask for permission to go in water.
- Keep barriers around pools and use alarms to protect swim areas.
- Use life jackets for inexperience and young children.
- Know CPR and basic first aid. This is something that everyone should learn!
- Consider swim lessons!
A good rule to instill in kids: if it has wheels and you ride it, you need a helmet on your head! Whether it’s scooters, bikes, skateboards or hover-boards, a helmet is the number one way to reduce head injuries. Practice what you preach and set a good example for your kiddos by wearing a helmet too!
Fun In The Sun
Avoid sun damage, sun burns, and heat stroke with a few important reminders:
- Sunscreen: Sunscreen should be used every time that you’re outside, even on cloudy days as the sun’s UV rays can still cause burns and damage. Use UVA and UVB blocking sunscreens and reapply every 2 hours when swimming or sweating for the best protection.
- Avoid sun during the harshest hours: Avoid direct sun between the hours of 10am and 3pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
- Sun protective clothes & accessories: There are so many great clothing options with SPF built in to them now. Wide brimmed hats are great for protecting the face and ears and encourage kiddos to wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection to block the sun’s harmful rays.
Between mosquitos, ticks and bees, summertime has its fair share of creepy crawlies that can be bothersome at times.
- Wear long-pants and long-sleeves, is possible, when hiking to avoid ticks hitching a ride. Always do a quick scan after being in areas in which ticks may be present (they love creases like elbows, behind the ears, etc.)
- Consider using bug repellents. Repellents can deter insects and decrease the chances of being bitten.
- Avoid stagnant water outside. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
It’s easier to become dehydrated when active and when the temperatures increase. Make sure to remind kiddos to take plenty of water breaks to stay hydrated and to take rest breaks as needed.
Stock Your First Aid Kit
Spring is always a good time to take stock of your first aid kit and refill as needed. I always keep one in our car with the basics and keep a more robust kit at home.
With the warmer weather, we often have our windows open to enjoy the fresh air. Be mindful that younger children may not realize the danger of open windows and that window falls increase dramatically during the spring and summer months. A few things to keep in mind:
- Move furniture and other items that children can stand or climb on away from windows.
- Install stoppers or guards onto windows so that children cannot open them.
- Screens keep out bugs, but are not strong enough to prevent someone from falling out of a window.
What are you most excited for this summer?