National Sun Safety Week; protecting your children

Summer is just around the corner and warm weather is finally upon us in Michigan. Now is the time to prepare for the heat and sun exposure we are sure to experience. While many tips for beating the heat may seem simple, or even common sense, a heat wave from last summer killed 82 people across the United States and Canada. You can’t be to careful when dealing with the sun and summer heat, especially with children.

The best thing you can do for your child to prevent a sun-related issue is to communicate to your child (depending on age) the importance of being safe in the sun. Encourage them to wear hats, apply sunscreen and even bring a long sleeve shirt with them where ever they are heading. Sometimes towards the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, parents will call the school their child is attending and ask administrators and teachers to make regular announcements to help make their students more aware of being safe in the sun.

One of the biggest mistakes a parent can make is to leave their child in the car when the weather is hot. According to kidsandcars.org, of children left in a hot car, an average of 37 die per year.

Exposure to the sun can be a great source of vitamin D, limited exposure is acceptable and even healthy for building a stronger immune system and brain function. But remember to keep your children hydrated at all times and have them take breaks from playing by cooling off in a shaded area. This is especially important if your children are playing sports this summer. Make sure coaches are notified of any health related issues your child may have and that they are receiving an adequate amount of rest and fluid to perform in the heat.

While summer is a great time to be active and spend time outdoors, we all must remember the damaging effects the heat can have on our bodies. Never underestimate your exposure to the sun and be safe by following very simple steps such as applying sunscreen, hydrating and resting from time to time.

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Photo credit: Alpha

 

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