4 tips for parents from a Paediatric Nurse coming into Summer.
1. Be mindful of kids around water. Drownings are fast, silent and deadly. Prevention is key, and this means being super vigilant around anything with water. Supervise kids of all ages around the obvious bodies of water…. but also the less obvious. Drownings can still happen in splash pools, buckets of water, baths, summer storm puddles and more. Water play is a favourite to cool off on those warm summer days, but don’t forget: water safety should always be your top priority.
2. Be sun safe. Vitamin D is critical for healthy immune function, and the sun gives us a decent dose of this clever vitamin. However, like everything, balance is key — we still have to be sun safe. For babies under 6 months, opt for shade, long sleeves, hats and avoid the sun as much as possible. For babies and kids older than this, these are what you’re looking for in a sunscreen:
-Broad spectrum UVA & UVB protection
- Aim for SPF 30 or higher
- Water resistant
- Make sure you’re using enough! This is a common sunscreen mistake.
- In date. Expired sunscreens don’t effectively
- Check that it is a TGA registered product, not just a cosmetic product. This means it will have an “AUST L” number on the label, meaning they are 'listed' on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG)
3. Keep an eye on your child’s hydration. Hot summer days can cause dehydration in kids… especially for our itty bitty bubs. Offer fluids frequently, and make sure they get lots of breaks in the shade, or indoors when it’s super spicy outside. Hot tip: check their output (aka, check their nappies and wee’s).
Check for the following:
- Are they having as many wet nappies as usual?
- Is their wee darker in colour?
- Is their wee smellier than usual?
All of these signs could indicate they are dehydrated. Time to up the fluids.
4. Coughs, snotty noses and breathing troubles still knock our kids about in the summer months. Learn what symptoms of sicknesses in kids are normal, and what ones are not so that you don’t ever have to second guess yourself. My online course “Normal or Not?” gives parents the skills to navigate inevitable sicknesses in kids with confidence and calmness.