Doc Talk: Summer safety and kids

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — We’re just weeks away from kids being out of school and getting into full-on summer mode but the summer fun can turn to real danger.

Dr. Anna Duran, at UNMH, stopped by to talk about how to keep kids safe during the summer. Dr. Duran says she sees situations too often where fun becomes a stay at the hospital or even death.

At the pool, safety is important. Each year, around 4,000 people die of drowning and about a fourth of them are children.

Of all children who drown, half are 0-4 years old. Among them, infants under one-year-old are most likely to drown in a bathtub while kids ages 1-4 are most likely to drown in a pool.

Here are some tips to prevent drowning:

  • Supervise children at all times when in or around water
  • No texting, reading, drinking, etc.
  • Teach your child how to swim
  • Skip arm floaties and use a life jacket
  • If you have a pool, use a four-sided isolation fence, locked gates and alarms

Children left in hot cars is another issue. Here are some things to remember:

  • Busy, distracted parents can easily leave a child in a hot car
  • A child’s body temperature heats up to five times faster than an adult
  • Never leave a child unattended in a car
  • Establish a routine before locking your car
  • Put your cell phone or bag in the backseat to remind you to check
  • Call 911 if you see a child alone in a car

Protecting your child’s skin from the sun is also important. Dr. Duran recommends sunscreen any and every day your kid is out in the sun and to remember these things:

  • Use Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher whenever your child is going to be outdoors
  • Reapply every three hours or after being in the water
  • Avoid activities during peak hours and wear protective clothing
  • Make sure your child is drinking plenty of water during outdoor play
  • Playground equipment can cause burns-touch equipment before your child touches

In the next “Doc Talk”, Dr. Duran will discuss kids’ nutrition and what exactly is a healthy weight.