Summer is a wonderful time of fun, sun, friends, cookouts, vacations, and (for the kids anyway) a break from hard work at school! IPHC wants to support a happy healthy summer, so we've got a few pointers.
Prime hours for UVA/UVB exposure in Colorado are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. That's great for Vitamin D (which many of us have grown deficient in), but if you're planning to be out more than 20-30 minutes, skin protection is a must!
- find shade or make shade with umbrellas, tarps, tents, and canopies
- use breathable clothing that covers well, sunglasses, wide brimmed hats
- use a sunscreen on exposed skin no more than 50 spf. (the fewer additive ingredients, the better)
*NOTE* All Sunscreens are not created equal! We think of sunscreen as a first resort against skin cancer. The FDA has stated there is no direct evidence that sunscreen use alone reduces skin cancer, but it is still recommended to prevent unpleasant burns (which do raise risk of skin cancer). So, when choosing a sunscreen for your kids (and self) remember to look at ingredients just like you do with food! Natural sunscreens are generally about 30 SPF, which according to the FDA, anything over 50 may actually be detrimental. Active ingredients usually include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, shea and coconut oils/butters, carrot seed and raspberry seed oil, and emulsifiers. These are safe and smell great. They reduce mostly UVB rays which cause burning of the skin, hence why covering the skin with clothing is imperative to protect against UVA rays. According to EWG, here is a fun list of "good" and "bad" sunscreens
based on ingredients for 2016. Or if you're the DIY type, here is a link to a make your own sunscreen recipe
Poolside is where we want to be on these 100 degree days! Children who are non-swimmers should be in arms reach of a parent at all times in the pool (even in a lifejacket or swim float) and when kids are even close-by the pool as well. Many kids don't have water phobia and may realize they can get in but not out. Therefore making sure above or below ground pools are locked with gates tall enough not to climb is a life-saver. Teach kids to swim as early as possible. Some kids inhale so much water during swimming it can mimic drowning--it's called dry or delayed drowning and often happen well after they're dry and clothed. Read more here
about signs, and what to do if your child has symptoms.
Children are quick to dehydrate. Why? They are made mostly of water, especially the little ones. In the heat, we all lose more water through sweat and vigorous exercise (called insensible waterloss). Children 3 years + need about 1-2 Liters of fluid daily from all sources (milk, water food, etc), then adding another 8 oz for every hour of strenuous activity and more for heat loss. We could calculate it for you, but here is a great article on hydration in children . If you child is becoming lethargic, sensitive to light, vomiting, headache or muscle cramps, irritability, fainting, fatigue, sweating, and elevation of body temperature after hours in the heat, they can develop heat exhaustion which can be severe and require immediate medical attention. This is most commonly seen when kids are left in cars, in uncooled homes or apartments, or long hours in the sun without shade, especially when active. Stay safe, hydrated, and shaded in between sun exposure to make the most of your summertime fun!!
Call us anytime to ask questions or make an appointment. Thanks for being a part of our IPHC family :o)