This here blog has given me so many fantastic opportunities, and aside from meeting some of my favorite people in the world, the best part about writing has been the chance to use my teacher voice and edumacate the peoples, which is why I am SO! excited to announce my new partnership with the lovely people at Know Your OTCs. Say hello to one of their new Ambassadors!
Me, you guys. It’s me.
That means I get to write (love it) and help other parents (love it) keep their kids safe (love it).
Because summer is a’comin’, and I know because western Pennsylvania is dialing up the heat to a balmy 89 degrees this week, I’m sharing some summer survival tricks that will make outside fun safer for you and your adorable fam.
Water Safety 101
Four years ago, my husband who hates water surprised me when he suggested we put in a pool. When I questioned his sanity, he confessed that his goal was to create a backyard haven where all the kids will want to play, thereby ensuring our own children would never leave our line of vision.
He’s adorable that husband of mine, isn’t he?
But his intentions are commendable, so we put in a pool. Not without a lot of precautions, though:
- A gate with a lock should always be between your kid and the pool.
- An adult should always supervise, and the younger the kids, the more capable the adult should be.
- The more kids, the more adults.
- Young kids think they can do everything. I once tried to fly out of a second story window. We’ll save that story for another day, but let’s just say this sweet little brunette below believes she can swim the English Channel. Which is why my eyes are always on her, and she’s always dressed to impress with her arm floats and goggles.
5. Rafts are fun, but they are not life-saving devices. Don’t rely on them, mmkay?
Sunscreen Application Do’s & Don’ts
- Buy new stuff. Please don’t use the sunscreen you left in bottom of your beach bag last August. Sunscreen expires, yo! New season = new sunscreen.
- Initial application should be done BEFORE you’re in the sun. Duh.
- Re-apply every 2 hours or more if your child has been in the water
- Be sure “broad spectrum” is on the label– it means it protects against UVA and UVB radiation
- Perhaps, like me, you own one of the whitest kids in the country. DON’T FORGET HIS SCALP! I mix sunscreen, kids’ spray leave-in hair conditioner, and a bit of water and spritz my Almighty Whitey’s little head at every re-application.
- Visit Know Your OTCs’s expert page for more sunscreen savvy HERE.
- Even if your other kid has a beautiful olive complexion, do NOT let her put on her own sunscreen…
Outdoor Fun & Falls
I love the sounds of summer: birds chirping me awake in the morning, the crackle of a bonfire, the bursts of screaming and crying that inevitably fill every back yard at some point during the summer months. One minute, kids are running and jumping; the next, they’re falling or fighting. Tears. Cuts. Scrapes. What to do with a little boo-boo?
3 Steps to Treating Cuts & Scrapes
- Make like a Boy Scout and always be prepared. Put together a little First Aid Kit (or buy one!), and keep it handy. Actually, make at least two: one for home, one for the car.
- Treat the cut or scrape ASAP; the sooner you help it, the sooner you’ll heal it. Kids’ skin is so resilient, with an initial washing and quick treatment, it’ll bounce back in no time.
- Use a topical antibiotic ointment at least 3x a day to keep the scrape clean.
Bug Bites Suck (see what I did there?)
I could never get into those vampire movies because I’m boring and not good at suspending disbelief for the sake of entertainment. I’M A RIOT AT PARTIES! Plus, all those movies have it wrong: bats aren’t vampires; mosquitoes are. Think about it: it’s mosquitoes that suck the blood out of your precious children and have you praying to Mother Nature that that bite won’t be the onset of the West Nile Virus. Though I tend to disagree with much of the vampire movies, I do agree that bathing in garlic can keep them at bay; but if you’re not willing to smell like a pizzeria, try preventing those dang bites with something else…
- If you use an over-the-counter bug spray, READ THE LABEL FIRST. Some ingredients aren’t safe for children, especially wittle ones.
- Babies should never been doused in OTC spray; be sure your babe is at least 6 months old before you even consider a bug repellent. Likewise, just because your little one is a walking and talking one-and-a-half-years-old doesn’t mean she can rock the repellent either. Some are suggested for ages 2 and up. Again, READ THE LABEL!
- My husband the golfer claims stuffing his pockets and hat with dryer sheets helps keep mosquitoes away, so that’s a cheap and possibly effective method. If it doesn’t work for you, blame my husband.
- Some essential oils have been known to combat bugs; eucalyptus is one that has been effective in battling both mosquitoes and fleas.
If you have your own summer safety tips, share them below and tag @KnowYourOTCs with your tip on Twitter using the #KnowYourOTCs hashtag. You can also visit them on Pinterest for even more helpful tidbits about all things health:
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Disclosure: I was compensated by CHPA to share my two-cents, but all opinions and poor attempts at jokes are my own.