Summer Safety Tips
Be safe and enjoy your summer.
Fun in the Sun
The first, and best, line of defense against the sun is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of ultraviolet rays), and cotton clothing with a tight weave.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- On both sunny and cloudy days use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that protects against UVB and UVA rays.
- Be sure to apply enough sunscreen – about one ounce per siting for a young adult.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
- Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.
Heat Stress in Exercising
- The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat and humidity reach critical levels.
- At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of exercise should be limited initially and then gradually increased during a period of 10 to 14 days to accomplish acclimatization to the heat.
- Before prolonged physical activity, the child should be well-hydrated. During the activity, periodic drinking should be enforced, for example, each 20 minutes, 5 oz of cold tap water or a flavored sports drink for a child weighing 90 lbs, and 9 oz for an adolescent weighing 130 lbs, even if the child does not feel thirsty.
- Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
- Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and more frequent water/hydration breaks should be instituted.
- Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays.
- Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
- Avoid dressing in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints.
- To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently back it out by scraping it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail.
- Combination sunscreen/insect repellent products should be avoided because sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, but the insect repellent should not be reapplied.
- Use insect repellents containing DEET when need to prevent insect related diseases such as ticks which can transmit Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes which can transmit West Nile Virus and other viruses.
- The current CDC and AAP recommendation for children over 2 months of age is to use 10- 30 percent DEET. DEET should not be used on children under 2 months of age.
- The effectiveness is similar for 10-30% DEET but the duration of effect varies. Ten percent DEET provides protection for about 2 hours – 30% for about 5 hours – choose the lowest concentration that will provide required length of coverage.
- The concentration of DEET varies significantly from product to product, so read the label of any product you purchase. Children should wash off repellents when back indoors.
- As an alternative to DEET, Picaridin has become available in the U.S. in concentrations of 5-10%.
For more information on DEET, visit aapnews.org/cgi/content/full/e200399v1