Seasonal Safety Tips For Kids
The summer and fall are great for having outdoor fun with your kids, nieces and nephews or grandkids; but outdoor activities can also pose safety risks.
According to Sherry Torkos, pharmacist and author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, there are a few preventative tips to make this season a safe and fun one for the kids:
Avoiding food poisoning:
Food-borne illnesses peak during this time of year. This is because the hot, humid weather allows bacteria to thrive and outdoor refrigeration, cooking and washing facilities during picnics and cookouts, may not be ideal. Food-borne illness can resemble the flu: stomach pains, nausea, diarrhea and fever. Avoid food poisoning by following some simple guidelines:
• Be sure food items that contain milk, eggs and meat aren’t kept at room temperature for more than an hour
• If you’re traveling with food, pack raw meat separately from other foods to avoid contamination
• Raw fruits and vegetables can cause problems if not properly washed and stored
• Carry hand sanitizer to clean your hands before preparing food.
Avoiding heat related illness:
Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, direct sun and high humidity — without sufficient rest and fluids– can increase the likelihood of heat illness. Children are at a greater risk of heat-related illnesses compared adults. They also lose a lot of water through sweat. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include: feeling thirsty, fatigue, dry lips and tongue and cramps. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heatstroke. Symptoms of heatstroke include: nausea and vomiting, seizures, disorientation, lack of sweating, shortness of breath and unconsciousness.
To avoid heat illness, it is paramount that children drink water and stay hydrated when in the hot sun and doing outdoor activities. Carrying a 330 mL bottle of Nestlé Pure Life around throughout the day will prompt kids to drink up and help prevent dehydration.
It is important that all children, regardless of skin type, wear sunscreen when outdoors. Apply a water-resistant sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays; don’t forget to apply to the lips, ears and back of neck. Re-apply sunscreen after swimming and activities every few hours. Protect kids’ skin and eyes with wide brim hats, sunglasses and sun protective clothing.