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Summer Fun Part 2

Water safety tips

By Dr. Amit Jain, MD FAAP MBA | Pediatrician

The summer is here and it is time to have some fun in the sun, and in the water. NOAH’s Pediatric team wants you to have a fun summer in the sun and in the water so here are some water safety tips!

Water Safety

Swimming is a great way to beat the summer heat here in Arizona and is a fun, healthy way to enjoy summer. However, water safety and drowning prevention are CRITICAL! Drowning is a very common cause of accidental, injury related deaths. Kids between 1 and 4 are at the highest risk.

  • Never leave children alone – even for a moment – in or near pool areas or other bodies of water (lakes, beaches, and even bathtubs or buckets of water!)
  • Install a fence at least 4 feet tall around the pool, which should ideally surround the pool on all sides and completely separate the pool from your home and yard. It should not have any gaps that a small child could slip over, under, or through. The gate should be a self-closing and self-latching gate that cannot be opened / reached by a small child.
  • Newer technology offers alarms, both for the gate and the pool that alerts you to anyone around the pool.
  • If an unexperienced swimmer is near the pool, make sure there is a designated adult for supervision. This adult should not be under the influence of alcohol or anything else, should not have any distractions (cell phone turned off or handed off to another adult), and preferably knows how to swim and perform CPR.
  • Keep rescue equipment such as a shepherd’s hook and a life preserver to reach / throw for rescues.
  • Avoid inflatable swim aids such as floaties, as they are not a substitution for proper life-preserving equipment such as life jackets.
  • Start swimming lessons early! Consider swim lessons for your child around age 1, but definitely by age 4. It may reduce the risk of drowning. Some neighborhoods that have pools have frequent swim classes for all ages.
  • Infant swim lessons are not advised because there is no evidence that swim lessons reduce a child’s risk of drowning under age 1 year old.
  • Talk to your pool operator to make sure your pool / spa and its drains are compliant with the pool and spa safety act.
  • Be safe and have a fun-filled summer!

Looking for more water safety tips? Check out the Red Cross’ tips to help you and your family have a fun and safe summer.

Summer Fun Part 1

Sun and summer safety tips

By Dr. Amit Jain, MD FAAP MBA | Pediatrician

Summer is here and many of us will be out with our kids to enjoy the sun. NOAH’s Pediatric team has a few summer safety tips for safe fun in the sun!

The sun brings many great things, but it also brings harmful UV (ultraviolet) light. UV light can cause melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer more common in people who have had bad sunburns when they were young. The sun can also cause other health risks and skin damage.

The first, best defense against the scorching summer sun is proper clothing and lots of shade.

  • Limit your time in the sun during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (the most intense time).
  • Take frequent shade breaks if staying in the sun for long periods of time.
  • Cotton clothing is best – it’s protective against the sun and keeps moisture low so you stay cool outside. Tightly woven fabrics are best.
  • Wear a hat: wide brimmed is best to protect your child’s entire face, including the nose, cheeks, chin, ears, and back of the neck.
  • Kids sunglasses should have UV protection. They aren’t expensive and are sold lots of places like dollar stores and Walmart. But make sure they’re labeled with UV protection.
  • Use SPF 15 (or higher) sunscreen on any skin not protected by clothing. Don’t forget the ears, back of the neck, arms, and legs. Carefully apply around the eyes, avoiding eyelids.
  • Choose a sunscreen that has the words “Broad Spectrum” on it – that will cover both UVA and UVB rays. Avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone because it has bad hormonal side effects in males and females.  
  • Before applying sunscreen for the first time, test a small amount on your child’s back for an allergic reaction.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure, because it takes this long to start working.
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every 1 hour.
  • If playing in the water, reapply sunscreen every half an hour, and use a waterproof sunscreen.
  • Babies under 6 months need more sun protection.
    • Avoid direct sun exposure. Keep them in shade with a canopy or under a tree.
    • Use wide brimmed hats to cover their face, ears, and neck.
    • Dress babies in lightweight clothing that covers their arms and legs.
    • If a young baby will be in the sun, apply small amounts of sunscreen SPF 15 or more to your baby’s face, hands, and legs.
  • Don’t forget to use sun protection even on cloudy days, as the harmful UV rays come through clouds.

If your child experiences a serious reaction to sunscreen, gets a bad sunburn or rash, talk to your NOAH pediatrician.

Looking for more summer sun safety tips? Visit HealthyChildren.org for tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Summer Screen Time Tips

Summer months can feel long with kids when school is out, and the heat keeps many of us indoors. Spending hours in front of a screen – television, computer, tablets, phones – can be tempting to pass the time but don’t lose the summer to screens. Let’s understand what safe and appropriate screen time is for kids of all ages.

Screen Time Guidelines

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, here are some good rules for screen time with kids:

  • Under 18 months – there should be no screens other than a video call with loved ones.
  • Under 2 years – limit screen time to no more than 1 hour a day of high-quality programs like Sesame Street.
  • Ages 2 – 5 years – screen time should be around an hour and be high-quality, educational shows that are made for young kids.
  • Older kids – it all depends on the kid and what they are doing on the screens. But experts agree, limit screen time for other activities like spending time with friends or family, exercise, or sports.

Busy Summer Without Screens

Turing off screens can make kids disappointed and even irritable at first, but it is good in the long run. Allowing children to be bored is actually very good for their development. There are some other things to keep kids busy this summer – even in this heat!

  • Chores – studies show that children who do chores (as young as 3) have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and deal with frustrations better. So, make sure they clean their room, make their bed, and more. Examples of age-appropriate chores here.
  • Read – kids should either read if they can or be read to for at least 20 minutes every day.
  • Exercise – everyone should get active. It might need to be inside or early in the morning because of the heat, but get 30 minutes to an hour of sports, exercise, or other activities every day.
  • Creativity – make something or get creative. Help cook or bake, draw or paint, make music, or any number of other activities.

Screen time can be beneficial for education, something many parents and kids found out with virtual learning during the pandemic. But it’s not good for all kids, and you don’t want to overdo it! Plus it can be bad for a child’s (and adults) sleep. Read more about that here.

Remember that it is also important for parents and other family members to show the same behavior. If older siblings or parents are always on their phone, younger kids will want to do the same. Try to change up screen time in your home together and everyone will benefit!

Summertime Family Fun by Dr. Patty Avila, Pediatrician

“There are lots of ways to keep your children busy during the summertime that do not involve use of media and many of these do not require you to go anywhere or spend a lot of money.”

Dr. Patty Avila, Pediatrician

Creativity

  • String beads together to make jewelry.
  • Create leis with wildflowers.
  • Collect rocks and paint them to use as paperweights or pet rocks or leave on a hiking trial for people to find.
  • Use recyclable items to make crafts.
  • Paint canvas sneakers with fabric paint pens or acrylic paint.
  • Decorate a wall or walkway with chalk.
  • Play with playdough or clay.
  • Make your own instruments and record music.
  • Put on a play.

Keep your children physically active

  • Plan a dance party.
  • Build an obstacle course in your backyard and have a competition to see who gets through it the fastest.
  • Take a family bike ride together.
  • Play a sport together.

Make memories together

  • Create a scrapbook or Time Capsule.
  • Create a summer mural by using a long piece of craft paper that can include drawings/paintings/pictures of your summer activities.
  • Have a night where the kids get to plan and cook a meal for the family.
  • Plan family game nights.

Explore Nature

  • Go bird watching and take pictures. There are websites and free apps that help you identify birds in your area like https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/.
  • Go on a nature walk/hike and take a bag to find “nature” and bring it home.
  • Hunt for bugs.
  • Plant an herb garden/butterfly garden.
  • Find a local farm that allows for you to pick your own berries, veggies, or flowers.

Summer road trip first aid kit-must haves!

Katherine Taylor Chuang, MD | NOAH Family Physician

Dr. Katherine Chuang, MD

Dr. Katherine Chuang, MD
Desert Mission Health Center

Bandages. Disinfecting wipes. Sunscreen. Check √

Summer is a great time to stock up on various bandages as well as antiseptic pads for your first aid kits. Your local stores usually have discounts on themed band aids which are fun for the kiddos and ease the pain just as much as a healing kiss! Read more

Summer Picnic Safety Tips

As the kids enjoy their summer break and family gatherings become a weekend must, NOAH has you covered with some great summer tips to keep you and your family safe while still having fun! Read more

School is Out…Now What?

by Tiffany Jewell

The last day of school is just around the corner and as a parent, you need to be ready. During the academic year, kids are active in sports, music and other school happenings. Summer is here and many children find themselves bored during the day with nothing to do but sit at home playing video games and/or watching television in the same place from the moment they wake up to the moment you get home from work. Read more