School is nearly out and it’s summertime! For a kid, this much-needed break from school means time outside playing with friends and cooling off in the swimming pool. These tips from our doctors at Integrity Urgent Care will help keep your children safe and out of the doctor’s office.
Make a first-aid kit.
Fill a large Ziploc bag or lunchbox with the necessities to handle the unexpected. It should include hand sanitizer, hydrogen peroxide for cleaning cuts and scrapes, antibiotic ointment, bandages of assorted sizes, Benadryl cream for insect bites and stings, and oral Benadryl medication for allergic reactions. If you child has an EpiPen or inhaler, make sure to include this as well. Depending on your summer plans, you may want to make one kit for home and a second one to keep in the car.
Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Be sure to apply at least every two hours and after swimming. Sunscreen is especially important on cloudy days; the shade masks the heat and therefore the sunburn can be worse because it’s not apparent until the damage has been done.
Pack individual snacks and drinks to avoid sharing germs.
Don’t allow the sharing of drinks or food while playing with friends. Stomach bugs in particular can be incredibly contagious.
Keep them hydrated.
Be sure that they drink plenty of water or sports drinks while they are playing outside and sweating.
Avoid swimmer’s ear.
Also known as otitis externa, swimmer’s ear is a very common but preventable outer ear infection. Mix together equal parts of white vinegar and either hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. After swimming, instill 3-4 drops in each ear and allow it to stay in the ear canal for one minute. This simple home remedy will ensure that they don’t develop this painful infection.
Minimize the effects of poison ivy.
After contact with poison ivy or other plants that cause contact dermatitis, wash the skin immediately with Dawn dish soap and apply Benadryl cream to prevent spreading. Hydrocortisone cream can also help with the swelling and itching.
Keep the bugs away.
Bug spray containing DEET are safe for children over two months of age according to the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP). Although some DEET-free repellants may be effective at keeping mosquitoes away, they are not effective against ticks. Only apply bug spray once a day (this means that products containing both insect repellant and sun screen are not a good idea). To avoid chiggers, mow grass regularly and if possible, wear tall socks and long pants when in taller grass.
Change your toothbrush after a strep throat diagnosis.
After at least four days of antibiotics (after he or she is no longer contagious), have your child start using a new toothbrush. This will prevent them from getting re-infected in a month or so. (This is a tip to remember year-round!)
We wish you and your family a safe and happy summer full of memories that will last a lifetime. If you need us, we are here for you from 8 am – 8 pm, seven days a week.