Children of all ages love beach days or play dates at the pool. But, be aware that drownings are a leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. Here are a few tips to help keep your little one safe when in or around water:
- Practice “touch supervision” with children under age 5 – always be within an arm’s length with full attention on child
- Never leave child alone even for a minute when in water, including a bathtub
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Keep a life jacket, shepherd’s crook or safety ring with rope at poolside
- Install a four-sided, self-latching fence around home pool
- Install an underwater motion swimming pool alarm or have your child wear an alarm that attaches to their wrist like a wristwatch
- Teach children to wear life jackets when on boats, docks or near bodies of water
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says there is no evidence that swimming lessons prevent drownings in babies younger than age 1, but older babies may be at less risk if they have had some formal instruction.
Summer is here and it’s a great time to get the whole family outdoors for fun and exercise. But, remember infant skin can sunburn easily and requires extra precautions. Start by keeping your baby out of direct sunlight by shading her stroller or carriage with a canopy, using an umbrella at the beach or park and installing window shades in the back of your car. And, try these additional tips:
- Dress baby in lightweight clothing that covers arms and legs
- Put a wide brim hat on her head that shades ears and back of neck
- Cover baby’s eyes with infant sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays
- Apply sunscreen to only small areas of exposed skin, such as the face, for babies younger than 6 months. For older babies, apply to all exposed areas of body
- Plan activities before 10 am or after 4 pm when sun’s rays aren’t so strong
And, pay attention to baby’s hydration in the summer heat. If your baby is at least 6 months, you can offer small amounts of drinking water or purified, steam-distilled water, such as Nursery®. Check with your pediatrician as to how much is best for your baby.
The warm, sunny days of summer beckon all of us outdoors, but pregnant women need to be careful as they can easily become dehydrated in heat and humidity. Dehydration during pregnancy increases the risk for low amniotic fluid, premature labor and difficulty with milk production. So, be aware of these signs of dehydration:
- Racing heart
- Small amounts of dark urine
The Institute of Medicine recommends pregnant women drink about 10 cups of fluid daily and breast-feeding women consume about 13 cups each day. One way to make sure you are well hydrated is to glance at your urine. It should be very pale or colorless. While fluid intake can come from a variety of foods and beverages, plain drinking water is one of the best ways to consume fluid as it has no calories.