Posts Tagged ‘summer safety’

Summer safety

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

keeping-your-baby-safe-in-the-sun_rdax_50Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. If you are pregnant or have little ones at home, there are a lot of safety concerns to think about as the warmer weather approaches.

Food:

Keep these safety tips in mind when preparing foods that are frequently associated with food-borne illness:
• CLEAN: Wash hands and food preparation surfaces often. And wash fresh fruits and vegetables carefully.
• SEPARATE: Don’t cross-contaminate!  When handling raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
• COOK: Cook to proper temperature. See the Minimum Cooking Temperatures chart for details on cooking meats, poultry, eggs, leftovers, and casseroles. After you remove meat from a grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.
• CHILL: At room temperature, bacteria in food can double every 20 minutes. The more bacteria there are, the greater the chance you could become sick. Refrigerate foods quickly because cold temperatures keep most harmful bacteria from multiplying

Sun:

Sunscreen is important for everyone! During pregnancy your skin is more sensitive to sunlight than it was before pregnancy. The sun gives off ultraviolet radiation (UV) which can increase the risk of skin cancer, give you a bad burn and increase signs of aging.

And a baby’s skin is thin and burns much more easily than an older child’s skin. This is especially true for babies younger than 6 months.

Here’s how you can stay safe in the sun:
• Do your best to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest. If your baby is younger than 6 months, it is best to keep her in the shade and out of direct sunlight.
• Make sure that both of you wear a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses. Look for sunglasses that have 99 percent UV protection.
• Dress everyone in lightweight clothes that cover arms and legs.
• Wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days. And reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours. If you are at the beach or the pool, reapply more frequently. Water and sand increase sun exposure due to the reflection of the sun off these surfaces.

Water:

Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old? And it’s the third leading cause of injury-related death among children 19 and under. Here are some tips for keeping your baby safe around the water:
• Never leave your child unattended around water. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
• Avoid all distractions—including your cell phone! Young children need all of your attention when they are near or around water.
• Invest in proper-fitting, Coast Guard-approved flotation devices (life vests). For kids younger than 5 years old, choose a vest with a strap between the legs and head support.
• Learn CPR. It is a great skill to know. You can usually find programs in your community.

Remember these summer safety tips and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Questions?  Send them to AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Get your vaccinations before summer travel

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

family-at-the-beachAfter a very rough winter and a rainy spring, summer is finally here! In a few weeks, my husband, my baby girl and I (with Lola in tow) will be traveling and heading to the beach for a couple of weeks. My baby girl just had her well baby visit this week, so she’s up to date on all of her vaccines and is ready to travel.

Summer is a great time to make sure your family’s vaccinations are up to date, especially this year. There’s been a recent outbreak of measles (an infection caused by a virus) in this country – the largest measles outbreak in 15 years. Most people who recently caught the measles were not vaccinated. They caught the measles in Europe (which is the middle of a major epidemic) and brought the disease back to the U.S.

Measles is easily spread and causes rash, cough and fever. In some cases, it can lead to diarrhea, ear infection, pneumonia, brain damage or even death. Measles can cause serious health problems in young children. It can also be especially harmful to pregnant women and can cause miscarriage.

Talk to your provider to find out if your and your family’s vaccines are up to date, especially when it comes to the measles. If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, wait 1 month before trying to get pregnant after getting the measles vaccine (MMR, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella). If you’re already pregnant, you’ll need to wait until after giving birth to get the vaccine.

If you’re  traveling out of the country with your baby and she’s 6-11 months old, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that she get her first shot of the MMR vaccine before traveling. If your baby is 12-15 months, then she should get two shots (separated by 28 days) before traveling.

Stay safe in summer heat

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

summer-heat-wave1If you’re in the Northeast like me, you’re in the midst of a heat wave. Temperatures reached over 100 degrees in some areas. I can usually deal with heat waves. But with the pregnancy, I’m finding myself feeling more sluggish, exhausted and thirsty!

It’s important to stay safe in summer heat, especially if you’re pregnant. If your body temperature gets too high during pregnancy, it can be very dangerous to your baby. We wrote a post with some helpful tips to keep cool during last year’s summer heat wave. But as a quick reminder, follow these tips:
• Drink plenty of fluids (preferably water) even if you’re not being very active.
• Avoid drinks that are high in sugar or have alcohol because they can make you even more dehydrated. (If you’re pregnant, you should be keeping away from these kinds of beverages anyway!)
• Stay indoors or in areas that are cool.
• If you need to go out, try to do so in the morning or evening, when it’s not as hot as midday.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
• Use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher and wear a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses.
• NEVER leave anyone (or any pets) in a closed, parked vehicle.

Brushing up on water safety and CPR

Monday, July 20th, 2009

pool-jumpSplashing with my granddaughter over the weekend made me think of water safety for kids. Not long ago I underwent a refresher course in CPR with some of my colleagues.  I’m relieved to know that someone else in the building knows what to do if I slip on something in the parking lot or take a tumble down stairs.  The area around swimming pools is wet and can be slippery.  Kids and adults can fall and get hurt.  I think it would be an excellent idea for parents to take course in pool safety and CPR.  Sure, there should be a lifeguard on duty, but what if she is busy with someone else?  What if you’re at a pond or the beach where there is no lifeguard?

The Red Cross is an organization that offers widely recognized CPR programs. Get together with a few friends and find a CPR class. It’s a life-saving skill, and you never know when you may need to use it on your own or someone else’s child.  It’s a great skill for parents to have to keep children safe, especially in the summer months if your kids are swimmers.