Schools out for summer, the pools are open and the kids are enjoying being outside. Nancy Naeve Brown has some advice from an Avera Pediatrician in Mitchell to make sure their summer break doesn't include breaking any bones and a trip to the ER.
Gavin Hinker from Mitchell is your typical rambunctious, curious and I have to say adorable 5 year old little boy. His mom Heather knows he will probably end up with bumps and bruises over the summer, but she wants to avoid anything more serious. Their Pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Tegethoff at Avera Medical Group Pediatrics in Mitchell says the two most important things parents can do to protect their children this summer is avoid excessive sun exposure and insect bites. That means sunscreen and bug repellent.
"I recommend an SPF of 50 or higher, reapplying liberally and frequently every two hours especially if they will be in the water.
Whenever kids get sunburned there is a pain issue, but it also puts them at higher risk for skin cancer later on in life. When you are only 4 or 5 years old you have a whole lifetime of sun exposure ahead of them so we want to start working on sun exposure at as early age," Dr. Tegethoff said.
Dr. Tegethoff also says she sees a lot of kids with bug bites that they've itched to the point of infection. She says if you the kids are going to be outside during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. They need to have on a layer of bug spray containing DEET.
"DEET with 30% is not more dangerous than a 10% concentration it will just last longer. Don't apply the product with 30% more than once a day. You do not want to use DEET on kids younger than 2 months old, "Dr. Tegethoff said.
Bee and wasp stings need to be watched too. Make sure to get the stinger out. Treat with an ice pack to keep the swelling down, take an oral antihistamine or use calamine lotion for the itching, but if the kids develop excessive swelling or itching that lasts longer than 2 days you should get them to the doctor.
During Gavin's annual wellness exam, the doctor chatted with him about water safety. She knows their family just moved in to a new house with a swimming pool.
"We have increased water accidents this time of year. They need to have basic swim instruction for all kids and they need to be well supervised," Dr. Tegethoff said.
Gavin's mom Heather values the relationship she and her kids have with a pediatrician who know exactly what to look for, what to talk about and how to treat them if and when they get more than a boo boo on their knee.
Not surprising broken bones also happen more in the summer months. She says besides bike helmets, knee and elbow pads are a must for skateboarders.