5 Summer Health and Safety Tips for Kids
Pediatrician Truc Dinh, M.D., shares five things every parent should know to keep their children happy and healthy during the summer.
- Screen time. During the summer, encourage your child or children to go outside and be active. It is recommended that every child get at least 30 minutes of playtime a day. Try to minimize the screen time to no more than an hour a day.
- Sunscreen for kids. Make sure that 30 minutes before going outside, especially if it's sunny, you have your children apply sunscreen. When choosing a sunscreen, you want to make sure it's broad spectrum so that it covers both the ultraviolet A and B rays. Make sure that the sunscreen is at least at SPF 30 and above, and make sure to apply every two hours.
- Sun protection for babies. For babies who are younger than six months, I recommend staying in the shade and not using sunscreen. Staying in the shade and wearing long sleeve clothing, and maybe a little brim hat will keep their skin covered.
- Swimmer's ear prevention. If you're able to just touch your child's ear and they complain of any type of pain, they most likely have swimmer's ear. After the pool, make sure they dry their ears using a towel. I don't recommend Q-tips. Use a towel to wipe around the ears.
- Bedtime routine. A lot of parents come to me and one of the main questions they ask is how do I get my child to sleep or "Hey, Dr. Truc my child's not sleeping until 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. First of all, you wanna establish a routine. Kids love routines; they work better that way. If they keep doing the same thing every night they will associate that with, "Oh, hey, I need to go sleep afterwards." And just before sleeping make sure they do not have any screen time. Whether that's iPad, TVs, tablets, turn it off approximately an hour before bedtime. The blue screen can stimulate their minds instead of helping them fall asleep.