Health Beat: Keep childrens safe and healthy this summer, part 1

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Taking a time-out at a neighborhood playground, this young boy received a reapplication of sunscreen by his mother. (Amanda Mills ~ CDC)

Summer's a great time to relax and have fun. Whether they are young children or teens, keep kids safe and healthy this summer, at home, play, while traveling and wherever else they may be.

Swim safely

Swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States and the most popular recreational activity for children and teens ages 7 to 17. Although swimming offers numerous health benefits, pools and other recreational water venues are also places where germs can be spread. Learn how to protect yourself and your kids from these germs and help prevent recreational water illnesses.

Practice water safety

Drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. Learn ways to prevent drowning, including:

* Always have supervision when in or around water

* Teach kids to swim

* Learn CPR

* Install a four-sided fence around home pools

Boat safely

Making boating safety a priority can ensure that it stays fun. Of the people who died in a boating incident in 2009, more than 73 percent drowned. More than 90 percent of the people who drowned were not wearing a life jacket. Properly fitted life jackets can prevent drownings and should be worn at all times by everyone on any boat.

Keep cool in the heat

People who are at highest risk for heat-related illness are the elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases. But even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.

Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open. Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Learn more about heat-related illnesses. Take steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries and deaths during hot weather.

Protect kids from the sun

Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Kids don't have to be at the pool, beach or on vacation to get too much sun. Their skin needs protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays whenever they're outdoors.

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