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Snuggin’s Top Summer Safety Tips For Your Little One

Summertime is almost upon us and there are lots of things we can do to avoid any seasonal mishaps this summer! Here are our top ways of keeping you and your little one safe this summer.

Beware of the bees

Bees are more active during summer and this can be a danger to your little one. Bees are attracted to flowers, so it would best to avoid putting floral-patterned clothes or fragrances on your young ones. Similarly, if you are out in the sunshine enjoying a picnic, make sure that you don’t leave food or drink containers open as this will attract bees. Also, remember that if a bee comes near, the best thing to do is to stay still until it has gone.

If you or your child does get stung, then it is important to make sure that the stinger is brushed away, then apply a salve of one part vinegar to four parts water to neutralize the venom. After around 30 minutes, apply some topical hydrocortisone and if it is still swollen, give an oral antihistamine to reduce this.

Avoiding bug bites

It’s not just the bees who come out in full force during summer, it is also important to protect your little one against bitten by bugs such as mosquitos and ticks.

For smaller children, it is important to make sure that you cover them with a lightweight netting over strollers and infant seats to prevent mosquitos biting them. Also, if you spend a lot of your time outside, it may be worth checking your little one’s body for ticks at the end of the day.

For older children, it is a good idea to apply a bug repellent. The most effective bug repellents contain DEET, which isn’t suitable for babies, but make sure that you use a repellent with a concentration of less than 30% DEET.

Alternatively, whilst all-natural repellents such as citronella or lemon eucalyptus are quite good at protecting against mosquitos and other bugs, they aren’t proven to protect effectively against ticks.

If your child gets bitten by a mosquito, the most effective remedy is to apply antihistamine cream to the affected area. If you find a tick on your child, use tweezers to pull it out. If you suspect that it has been there for about 24 hours or more, then please do consult your paediatrician.

Stay cool

There is nothing more important than remaining cool during summer, especially as the temperatures soar. It is important to watch out for any symptoms of heat exhaustion, such as fatigue, muscle cramping and extreme thirst, as this could lead to heatstroke which is potentially fatal. To avoid this, make sure that your little one is well hydrated and takes regular breaks in the shade.

If you your little one begins to display any of these symptoms, then get them into the shade as soon as possible, spray them with cold water and if the temperature doesn’t abate, apply ice packs to the groin and armpits as this will speed up the cooling process. If you are concerned, then please contact the emergency services or your paediatrician.

Keep baby safe in the sun

It almost goes without saying, but it is so important to make sure that you keep your little one protected in the sun. Try to avoid being in the sun between 10am and 3pm as this is when the sun is at its strongest. For older babies (from 6 months plus), make sure that you use sunscreen with at least 15SPF. For younger babies, make sure that they stay in the shade and are adequately protected with sun hats and sunglasses.

If baby does get sunburnt, the best remedy is to apply an aloe vera lotion or cold compresses to the affected areas/s.

Avoid burns

Around half of accidental burns that occur every year, happen to children under the age of 4. So, it is important not to leave your little one unattended around hot appliances, especially if you are enjoying a summertime BBQ. Leaving plastic or metal items out in the sun all day can also create a hazard for your little one. Make sure that you children don’t touch hot items.

If you child does get burnt, then the best remedy is to place the area affected under running cold water for about 10 minutes. Do not apply any ointments or creams, just leave the area to heal naturally. As it heals, make sure that you keep the site clean with soap and water and you can place a loose sterile dressing over the site to keep it clean.

Avoid poisonous plants

During summer, it is important to make sure that your little ones avoid poison plants such as, poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. It is important that you are aware of what these plants look like, so that you and your little ones can avoid them.

Poison ivy has three pointed and notched leavers per stem and are usually found as a vine, on trees or in the grass. Poison oak is similar in shape to poison but the tips of the leaves are more rounded. These are usually found in western United States. Usually found in Eastern United States, poison sumac has 6 to 12 leaves growing in pairs with a single leaf topping stems.

If you child does get a rash from any of these plants, it isn’t contagious but it is important to wash the area affected and remove and wash all clothing.

Be prepared!

Lastly, the best way to protect yourself and your little one is to make sure that your first aid box is well equipped and everything is still in date! Some important items to have include (amongst others):

  • Oral antihistamine
  • Topical antihistamine
  • Band aids
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometers
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antibacterial gel
  • Ice packs

This list is by no means exhaustive and you will be better placed to know what you are likely to need this summer! If in doubt anything, then consult with your paediatrician.

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