My Blog - Children's Medical Center

Posts for tag: safety tips

Summer is the favorite time of year for many children — swimming, cookouts, outdoor fun and fireworks provide excitement but also hazards if not careful. Drowning incidents rise during the summer months, the hot sun causes heat exhaustion and a simple bug bite could lead to a doctor visit.

Apply these safety tips to keep your family healthy and happy as you enjoy the summer months:

  1. Water Safety: Drowning is among the leading causes of accidental death in children. Children should swim only when lifeguards are on duty or if an experienced swimmer is watching. Kids should wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim. When kids are in or near water, closely supervise them at all times. Drowning happens quickly and quietly, adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, talking on the phone, and using alcohol or drugs.
  2.  Sun Protection: The sun is strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., even on cloudy days. When playing outside, use sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher and blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and every 2 hours. If playing in the water, re-apply after exiting the water.
  3. Overheating: Heat stroke in children can occur without proper hydration or rest. Prior to heat stroke, kids often show milder symptoms such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Drink plenty of water and wearing lightweight clothing when playing outside.
  4. Car Safety: Never leave a child in an unattended car, even if the windows are down. A child trapped inside a hot car can suffocate quickly. Always keep your trunk and car locked, even when it's in the driveway or garage.
  5. Boat Safety: Children should always wear a life jacket when in a boat or on the water. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. It is highly recommended not to drink alcoholic beverages while boating.
  6. Burns: Never leave small children unattended around a hot grill and keep them at a distance while you’re cooking. Over 3,000 children visit emergency rooms each year from injuries due to fireworks. Never let young children play with fireworks.
  7. Bug Bites and Bee Stings: When choosing bug repellents, look for one that contains DEET. DEET is proven to repel both mosquitoes and ticks. Products with a concentration of less than 30% are safe for kids, but not babies under two months old. Apply repellent once a day. Don’t use a combination sunscreen and bug repellent. All-natural repellents (eucalyptus or citronella) are not proven to protect against ticks and should not be used on children younger than three years of age.

With the right preparation and precautions, summertime can be relaxing and fun. Children’s Medical Center is by your side to keep you family healthy and safe this summer.

Call us if you have any questions or need to schedule a telemedicine appointment or in-person visit.

Palm Harbor (727) 787-6335

West Chase (813) 891-6501

Trinity (727) 376-8404

Lutz (813) 751-3131

The holiday season is about spending time with family and loved ones, but also road trips, parties and festivities, trimming the tree, decorations and more. Here is what you need to know to keep your children safe during this special time of year.

Whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering or going to visit friends and family, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep alcohol out of reach. Even a small amount of wine, beer, or liquor sipped from an unattended cup at a holiday party may be highly toxic to a young child.
  • Party food is fun but can be dangerous. Nuts, olives, small hard candies, cocktail franks, and popcorn can present a choking hazard for babies and toddlers. Be mindful of little ones and set these items at a level where young ones can’t reach them.
  • Candles can set the mood and ambiance in a room. Keep candles at least twelve inches away from anything that can burn and again, keep them out of reach of little ones.
  • Keep a list with important phone numbers in a visible location (kitchen or near a phone) for you, your guests or a babysitter, in case of an emergency. Include the police and fire department, your pediatrician and the national Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222.

Decorations are tradition and play an important role in the holidays, but they can also pose danger. Keep your family safe with these tips:

  • Carefully inspect each string of lights and discard any with frayed cords, cracked bulb holders, or loose connections. Always turn off your holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house. If using an extension cord, be sure it’s certified or rated and used as intended (indoor vs. outdoor).
  • Purchase a fresh cut tree (or as fresh as possible), as they are more resistant to catching fire. Keep your tree watered and away from open flames or candles. If you're buying an artificial tree, look for the label "fire resistant". Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, it does indicate the tree is more resistant to burning.  Secure your tree in a wide, stable base so there's no chance that a little one can tug and knock it over.
  • Avoid putting sharp, easily breakable decorations on the tree, especially on the lower portion. Anything with small removable parts or that resemble candy or food should be avoided as well. Most wrapping paper and ribbons are nontoxic, but certain foils and colored gift wraps may contain lead, so it's best not to let babies chew on them.
  • Mistletoe holly, Christmas rose, and Jerusalem cherry are all poisonous. They should be kept out of reach of both children and pets. Poinsettias are actually not as toxic as people think. However, if ingested they may cause stomach irritation or burning in the mouth.

Spend time with your family and relish the absolute joy of the holidays. This is the time to enjoy your holiday traditions, make new ones and cherish the memories.

Be Merry and Be Safe with Children’s Medical Center

Our team of board-certified pediatricians are dedicated to ensuring your children remain healthy and safe this holiday season and all year long. Keep our number nearby and call us if you have any concerns during this busy time of year.

Palm Harbor (727) 787-6335

West Chase (813) 891-6501

Trinity (727) 376-8404

Lutz (813) 751-3131