June 9, 2023

The sun is finally out, and we should go outside! The warmer months are an excellent opportunity to explore, play, and learn in the great outdoors. Here are a few tips to stay safe in the sun.

Bright Sun and Healthy Skin

Protect your skin from sun damage to prevent sunburns, skin cancers, and wrinkles later in life. Remember that small amounts of sun exposure over time cause most sun damage. It is important to protect yourself every day, not just on long pool days.

Use an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen, which protects you from UVA and UVB rays and is water-resistant if you spend time in the water. Re-apply every 2 hours and after getting out of the pool.

Fight Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion can start slowly but can become serious quickly.

Drink plenty of fluids on hot days, especially in the sun. Be careful about moderate to heavy exercise during the hottest time of day. If overheating, lie down in the shade and seek medical care immediately if concerned.

What to watch for:

•              Muscle cramps

•              Nausea

•              Irritability

•              Weakness

•              Headache

•              Confusion

•              You may or may not be sweating

Hiking and Camping

Poison Ivy can be around in eastern Washington, including the Spokane area. Don’t forget: “Leaves of three, let them be.”

Check for ticks. Lyme disease, which ticks can carry, is uncommon in Washington. It is still important to examine for ticks and remove them quickly if they are found. Don’t forget to check behind the ears, scalp, under the arms, and groin after hiking or camping trips.

To prevent Lyme disease, use an insect repellent safe for children older than two months. Apply once per day, and do not apply to the face or the hands of young children.

Water Activities

Swimming is fun and can be a lifelong healthy activity, but it is important to know how to be safe around the water.

Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death of children ages 1 to 14 in the United States. Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in residential swimming pools. If you own a pool or spa, check that you meet state and local regulations to prevent drowning.

Children should always wear life jackets on boats or near bodies of water, including pools. Swimming aids and water toys, like inflatable water wings and rings, are toys. Swimming aids may float in the water but do not prevent drowning.

In an emergency, if there is a concern of drowning, pull the child out of the water, call 911, and if the child is not breathing, start CPR if you have been trained.

Consider swimming lessons any time after your child turns 4 years old.