Posts Tagged ‘sun 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.

Sunscreen and bug spray

Friday, June 24th, 2011

sunscreenThis week it is officially summer! We’re all outside playin’ in the grass, splashin’ in the pool. We know it’s very important to slather on the sunscreen to keep ourselves and little ones from turning red as a beet. And if you live where the mosquitos hang out, you want to spray on bug repellant to keep those B52 biters at bay.

There are a couple of products that combine bug repellant with sunscreen. Sounds great, right? Wrong. The problem with a combination product is the real possibility of toxic exposure, overdosing on the bug repellant. We have learned from research that for maximum benefit it’s important to reapply sunblock every two hours. If you use a combination product, you’ll be reapplying the bug repellant chemicals as well – not good.

So, to be on the safe side, keep these products separate, or use the combination product once, and then apply sunblock only every two hours afterward. If you’re worried about the chemicals in bug repellant, here’s an alternative. Soybean oil based repellents are healthier for you and tests have found them to be as effective as a 15% concentration of DEET, lasting for 4 to 8 hours.

Independence Day celebrations

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

fireworksHappy 4th of July!  It may be hot for several reasons.  Will your little tikes be asserting their independence at today’s BBQ?  Keep your cool and the kids covered.  Make sure they drink plenty of water and are slathered in sunscreen.

Have fun with your toddler by putting sunscreen on each other. Don’t forget the feet if you’re likely to be running around barefoot.  And make sure you both wear a hat.  Sunburns hurt! Babies less than six months old should stay out of direct sunlight. Play in the shade of a tree, umbrella or stroller top.

Enjoy the fun foods of the day, remembering to keep raw meat and poultry separate from cooked or ready-to-eat foods. Rinse fruits and vegetables under running tap water before eating, and remove surface dirt with a scrub brush, cutting away any damaged sections, which can contain bacteria. Refrigerate any leftovers promptly, and never eat cooked food that has been out of the refrigerator longer than two hours.  If you’re pregnant, read more about food safety.

Don’t forget that while sparklers are great fun, they’re still dangerous for little kids and should be handled only by adults or older children who know not to wave them in people’s faces.  Keep a great distance from any launch sites and enjoy the fireworks!  (Babies can be frightened by the loud bangs that can hurt their ears.  You may want to move indoors or to your car to watch from the windows.)

Have fun!