Summer is officially here, ushered in with friendly internet reminders of poisonous sunscreens, drownings, and dangers of excessive screen time. So the GomerBlog team reached out to pediatric emergency room physician, Dr. Helen Hurt, seeking her top child summer safety tips.
1. Never leave you child unattended, even for the blink of an eye, until they are at least 18 years of age. Masking tape should be placed above each eye, taping eyelid opens to avoid blinking. In the blink of an eye, children can bolt across the street, eat a handful of detergent pods, or set the house on fire. Meanwhile, your employer should provide paid leave and a summer travel bonus in order for you to stay home with your child.
2. Never allow your children near water without an adult within arm’s length. Bathtubs, showers, ponds, puddles, and fish bowls may be extremely dangerous for children, and should be avoided without proper flotation devices. Furthermore, it is critical to children’s development and self-confidence they learn to become independent swimmers.
3. Children must be covered head-to- toe in PABA-free sunscreen with chemical and physical blockers, and UVA/UVB protection, taking 15-20 minutes to properly apply, and reapplied every 30-45 minutes. Children without proper sun protection place themselves at risk for serious, deadly skin cancers. However, you are also a neglectful parent if your children are not exposed to adequate vitamin D from the sun, placing them at risk for life-threatening breast cancer, depression, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia.
4. All trachea-sized food should be cut into rice-sized pieces. Hot dogs, grapes, peanuts and crackerjacks are particularly dangerous for children and teenagers, making summer cookouts and baseball games deathtraps. Teenagers should carry around sharp knives in order to cut their lunch food into teeny, tiny pieces.
5. Automobiles remain the most dangerous mode of transportation. The AAP recommends children should be safely restrained in car seats until 17 years of age. Instead of driving in death-mobiles, families are encouraged to walk exclusively on sidewalk-lined, well-lit streets over 100 feet from busy roads. Or parents can avoid dangerous sidewalks and automobiles altogether, and encourage their children to remain indoors all day. Remember, however, the AAP limits screen-time to 6 minutes per day, otherwise your child’s brain will rot.
6. Never allow children to go to the restrooms by themselves. Children may encounter predators, or, worse yet, run out of toilet paper. Children and adolescents may enter the bathroom of their parent’s gender, and should share a stall with said parent to avoid any potentially traumatic events.
Dr. Hurt reminds parents “It is important to give children space to explore, make mistakes, and problem solve, while smothering them with love and attention.” And a special reminder to adults without children: if you see a parent doing any of the above to their children, please take a photo of the offenders and blast them on the internet.