Summer is upon us. It’s time to slow down, relax, and enjoy some family time. Here are a few tips to ensure we stay safe and healthy this season.

Sunscreen: It can be used on children of all ages. Many sunscreens say ‘not for use in babies under 6 months’, but the American Academy of Pediatrics says that it is okay to apply to areas exposed to the sun. I certainly recommend keeping your baby’s skin covered in lightweight clothing and a hat, keeping your baby in the shade, and staying inside during peak sun hours (10:00 am – 2:00 pm), but if you are going to be outside, apply the sunscreen first. For older children, slather it on 20 minutes before going outside (not just before they jump in the pool) and re-apply every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating.

mother daughterPool Safety: Whether you have an in-ground pool, a small kiddy pool, or a large inflatable above-ground pool, children must ALWAYS be supervised around water. Ideally, a 4 foot self-closing, self-latching gate should surround a pool, even if it’s a portable one. Otherwise, drain the water each day because it’s too enticing for young tots. Practice ‘touch-supervision’ which means that an adult should always be within arms reach of a child in the water.

Insect Bites: Prevention here goes a long way. Dress your little ones in long clothing during the evening hours when the bugs are most likely to be out in full force. Be sure to avoid scented soaps and perfumes. Use insect repellant when needed-look for ones that contain DEET (up to a maximum of 30%) for children 6 months and older. Avoid the combination suncreen and insect repellant products because sunscreen should be applied every 2 hours and DEET only once per day. If your child does get bitten, a cool compress and a mild 1% hydrocortisone for the itch is all that’s needed. If you are concerned the bite looks infected, call your pediatrician.

Continue reading this parenting article by Dr. Alanna Levine on Summer Infant