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Summertime safety tips courtesy of St. James Hospital

In today’s world, children are often as overcommitted as adults, dealing with the daily pressures of keeping grades up, school projects, deadlines and tests.

In addition, many kids are involved in organized sports and recreational classes that, although fun, often take over any additional free time after school.

The summer is a time for children to play, relax and enjoy time simply “being a kid.”

St. James Parish Hospital encourages children to have fun, get active and stay safe during the summer. The hospital shares several Summertime Safety Tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Additional information can be found by visiting cdc.gov/features/kidssafety.

Master Water Safety

Swimming and other water activities are excellent ways to get the physical activity and health benefits needed for a healthy life. Get the most from these activities while helping everyone stay safe and healthy.

· Parents and caregivers play a key role in protecting children from drowning. When kids are in or near water, closely supervise them at all times.

· Help prevent recreational water illnesses, which is illness caused by germs and chemicals found in the water we swim in. Keep the pee, poop, sweat and dirt out of the water. Take kids on bathroom breaks and check diapers every hour, and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area— not poolside — to keep germs away from the pool.

· Stay safe while boating by wearing a life jacket. Properly fitted life jackets can prevent drownings and should be worn at all times by everyone on any boat.

Be Sun Smart

Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Adults and children need protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors. Learn how to protect your child from sun damage.

· Seek shade when necessary. UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday, so it’s best to plan indoor activities then. If this is not possible, seek shade under a tree, an umbrella, or a pop-up tent.

· When possible, cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts to provide protection from UV rays.

· Wear a hat that shades the face, scalp, ears, and neck. If your child chooses a baseball cap, be sure to protect exposed areas with sunscreen.

· Wear sunglasses. They protect your child’s eyes from UV rays, which can lead to cataracts later in life.

· Use a sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 every time your child goes outside.

For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors.

Don’t forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet.

Be Safe at Home, Work and Play

Injuries are the leading cause of death in children aged 19 and younger, but most child injuries can be prevented.

· Play it safe on the playground. Read playground signs and use playground equipment that is right for your child’s age. Look out for things in the play area that can trip your child, like tree stumps or rocks.

· Stay smart around the house by following tips on fire prevention, microwave use, and living with pets.

Additional information can be learned by visiting cdc.gov/features/kidssafety.