New Summer Safety Tips for Sunburn, Bug Bites, and More
If you’re unprepared, a sweet summer day can quickly turn sour with only a sunburn or bug bite! To keep the kids (and parents!) happy and healthy, follow these 5 simple tips to have a safe summer day outdoors.
Slather on the Sunscreen
It’s all fun and games until someone gets burnt! With so many brands and SPFs of sunscreen available today, it’s difficult to choose what is right for you and your family. The FDA has issued new sunscreen safety regulations, and of the 16 ingredients used in most sunscreens, only these 2 have been vetted as safe to use: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Check the labels before you buy your favorite brand! Or, use this list of the best environmentally safe sunscreens.
A high SPF isn’t the only thing to consider when applying sunscreen. While SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, and is the minimum SPF recommended for little ones, application method is also important. Make sure to get a nice, golf-ball sized glob of sunscreen EVERYWHERE: ears, neck, and feet too! Scalp, eyelids, and lips are other areas prone to burns. Pack your favorite hat, sunglasses with UVB protection, and an SPF lip balm to protect these sensitive skin areas.
Experts say to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, and every hour if you use a spray-style sunscreen or are swimming and sweating. And yes, it’s hard to keep kiddos out of the water for the recommended 30 minutes to let the sunscreen soak into their skin. We recommend taking a quick snack break or family-photo op after sunscreen application to keep kids’ attention.
Check the Water
Stagnant bodies of water, such as ponds and lakes, can carry harmful bacteria. One major tell-tale sign that a body of water might not be swim-safe is an abundance of algae. Not all algae blooms are harmful, but the wrong kind can cause skin irritation and, if accidentally ingested, can cause stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. Before swimming in a public pond, lake, or even river, check the city’s website to see if any water warnings are in place.
The EPA also warns against swimming in bodies of water near farms, as the runoff from fertilized fields could create unwanted bacteria such as E. coli. You can purchase DIY kits for testing water quality, but know that if E. coli is present, the probability of other pathogens greatly increases.
But here at Splashway, you never have to worry about clean water! As the cleanest waterpark in Texas, we keep all bodies of water in the park clean with chlorine and UV purification methods.
Keep the Crew Hydrated
This one is a probably a no-brainer! We all know it’s important to drink lots of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, but exactly how to get active kiddos to drink the right amount of daily fluids is a different story! For active kids who are having a fun day at Splashway, experts recommend children under 8 have 4-6 glasses of water, and children over 8 have 6-8.
Tip: If active kids aren’t asking for potty breaks, they may not be hydrated enough! Check for other bodily signs, such as cracked lips or headaches. Snacks like peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, and other juicy fruits are also a great way to give the kids extra hydration without them even knowing!
And for kids who don’t like water, try adding slices of fruits, like lemons and oranges, to add a refreshing flavor. Or, let them pick out their own reusable water bottle that makes drinking water a little more exciting. Of course, sports drinks with electrolytes are also fine in moderation. Another easy way to get kids excited about water is by drinking it yourself! Be a role model for young kids by making water breaks something you enjoy, too.
Curb Hunger with Healthy Meals
Just like with water intake, gauging kids’ hunger can be difficult when they’re focused on playtime. During an all-day family trip, stick to a snack schedule to make sure kids are getting enough nutrients during the day and to stop all-day snacking. If you’re having a family day at home, take advantage of the summer weather and spend time around the grill! You can monitor outdoor playtime while also cooking up healthy meals. For kid-friendly grill recipes a little more advanced than the ‘ole hot-dog standby, try these.
Squash Bug Bites
Another big pest during summer are pesky mosquitos and other buzzing insects, especially at dusk. For common biting bugs like mosquitos, gnats, and ticks, choose an all-natural repellent, like these.
However, repellent doesn’t protect against fire ants, bees, and wasps. When encountering these kinds of bugs, teach kids to react calmly and leave them alone, as swatting them away can worsen the situation. Check for ant hills and wasp nests before choosing a family spot.
Your kiddos won’t always say something if there’s a bite, especially with tricky ticks! After an outdoor adventure, do body inspections to check for any bumps, welts, or ticks. And if bug bites do occur, an itch cream is a simple method to keep kids from scratching. But for bigger bites and stings, check out this extensive list on types of bug bites to know the best treatment method.
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