Summer is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the outdoors with your family. With all the extra time spent outside, it is important that to take precautions to ensure you and your children stay safe. Pharmacist Dr. Dina Kulik shares her expert advice on how to prevent and treat common summer hazards from simple cuts, scrapes and bruises to tick bites and bee stings.
Scrapes, cuts and bruises
It is inevitable that children will fall and get minor injuries throughout the summer, however there are ways to avoid anything more serious.
- Make sure your kids are wearing helmets, elbow pads and knee pads when on any sort of bicycle, skateboard, scooter, etc. It is important to act as an example for your children, so make sure you put your safety gear on as well.
- Talk to your children about playground safety and watch your kids, even if it’s from far away.
These smaller injuries can be simple to treat at home, Dr. Dina’s recommendations are as follows:
- First, wash the scrape or cut with soap and water, stop the bleeding and apply a bandage or gauze with medical tape.
- Fore serious sprains and strains – use the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate).
When to see a doctor:
Parents should use their judgement. If you feel that there is something seriously wrong, even if your child doesn’t clearly express it, you should take them to see a doctor.
Bee and wasp stings
- Remain calm around bees and wasps – do not panic!
- Ice the area to reduce inflammation.
- If the stinger is still in the skin, remove it by placing a pair of tweezers close to the skin and pulling it right out.
- You can take hydrocortisone and Benadryl as needed.
When to see a doctor:
You should see a doctor if you are concerned about any allergies to bee or wasp stings. Signs of allergies include: swelling, hives and gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms.
- Children over the age of six months can use a deet-containing solution to repel mosquitos, as long as it contains less than 10 per cent deet.
- Wear long sleeves and pants. Also wearing light colours is beneficial.
- Have netting around you if you are spending a long period of time outside.
- You can treat the itch with hydrocortisone, Benadryl or any other antihistamines.
- Similar to mosquito bites, you can prevent tick bites using deet containing solutions and wearing long sleeves and light colours.
- If you are in wooded areas or spending a substantial amount of time outside, make sure to do skin checks on your children every day.
- You can remove a tick by grabbing it by the mouth with a pair of tweezers and pulling it off in one swoop. (Make sure you grab the mouth of the tick instead of the body to avoid the tick ejecting more of the Lyme disease containing substances.)
- After you remove the tick, place it in a bag and bring it to your doctor to be tested for Lyme disease.
- If you remove the tick within 36 hours of being bit, the risk of Lyme disease is very small.
Lyme disease symptoms are non-specific and resemble flu-like symptoms that include, fever, fatigue and irritability. Eighty per cent of people who get bit by a Lyme containing tick develop a bulls-eye type rash on their bodies. If you or your child develop this rash, see your doctor immediately for possible antibiotic treatment.
Join the conversation