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Newsletter - We would like to offer some reminders that may make for a safer and healthier summer for you and your children.

Sunscreen—Children older than 6 months should have sunscreen applied 30 minutes before going outside.  Younger babies should be shaded as much as possible, but if sun exposure is not avoidable, a small amount of sunscreen can be applied to exposed areas.  Hats are a great idea—practical sun protection, and very cute.  Sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 30 and should be reapplied every 2 hours.  SPF greater than 50 is not worth any additional cost.  Remember, the sun’s rays are at peak intensity between 10 AM and 4 PM (as are most children J)

Insect Repellent—The most effective ingredient is DEET, which can be used in concentrations from 10% (for children <2 years old) to 30% (for kids 2 and older).  Concentrations greater than 30% are not more effective.  DEET can be safely used in children as young as 2 months, but the person holding a baby can brush the bugs away and avoid chemicals entirely in children who are not yet mobile.  DEET should not be sprayed on broken skin or near the eyes or mouth—spray on your hands and apply to the child’s face.  Products containing picaridin or lemon eucalyptus or soybean oil are also effective (comparable to products with lower DEET concentrations).  Wristbands and electronic devices have not been shown to be effective.  A daily head-to-toe tick check is a great defense against Lyme Disease—a tick that is attached for no more than 24 hours is very unlikely to transmit the germ that causes Lyme Disease.

Water Safety—Swimming lessons are a great idea for children, starting as toddlers.  Children can learn the basics of water safety (use of a life vest, never going near water alone) at any early age.  Of course, adult supervision of children at all times is essential.

Bike Safety—Children should always wear a helmet, no matter how short their trip.  Most severe head injuries and deaths among bikers are preventable with helmet use.  Don’t take the chance!  Children should not wear ear buds when biking so that they are more aware of their surroundings.

Vacation—When planning a vacation this summer, packing a few items (Tylenol or ibuprofen, Benadryl, sunscreen, insect repellent) is a good idea.  Always remind children to buckle up, even in the rental car.

We wish you and your family and fun, healthy, and safe summer!