The following are the top risks kids face in Central Oregon during the summer
Sunburns & Heat Stroke
The sun poses one of the biggest threats to a child’s health during the summer months. Children are highly susceptible to sunburns and heat stroke, especially when spending extended time outdoors. Always keep a bottle of sunscreen on you. Have your children wear sunhats and sunglasses whenever possible, as well as sun-protective clothing that is UPF 50+. While there are plenty of preventative measures to avoid sunburns, heat stroke in children is a little bit more difficult to not only identify, but also avoid. Typically, kids may not notice that they’re getting too hot or dehydrated. You can prevent heat stroke by scheduling regular water and rest breaks, having children play outside during the cooler times of day, staying in shaded areas during the hotter times and dressing them in loose-fitting cool clothing.
Signs of heatstroke in babies and children include:
• Flushed, hot skin (maybe dry)
• Rapid breathing and heartbeat
• Nausea and vomiting
• Confusion and disorientation
• Irritability and lethargy
If heatstroke symptoms occur:
• Immediately move your child to a cool environment.
• Apply cool cloths to the skin.
• Encourage your child to hydrate and rest. If your child is losing consciousness or you are otherwise concerned, seek medical assistance right away!
With an abundance of lakes and rivers, Central Oregon offers lots of opportunity for waterplay. Unfortunately, drowning is the number-one leading cause of injury and death for children one to four years of age. Water safety should always be the top priority.
Simple drowning prevention tips for parents provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention include:
• Teach kids water safety. Formal swimming lessons are best.
• Designate a responsible adult to supervise children while in or near water.
• Life jackets should be worn by younger, weaker swimmers and while in natural sources of water.
• Make sure every adult knows CPR.
• Use the buddy system and make sure everyone swims with a friend.
Keeping Track of the Kids
You’ve likely got your favorite festivals on the summer calendar by now. With the family in tow, it’s not easy to keep track of the little buggers when you are out and about. The following are tips to help avoid losing a child in a large crowd:
• Make sure older kids have their phones on them and keep them charged.
• When children are old enough, have them memorize their parents’ names and phone numbers.
• Write your contact information on a card and have your child carry it in their pocket.
• Arrange a meeting place in case a family member gets lost or separated.
• Dress your child in bright, easily identifiable clothes.
• Take a photo of your children on the day of the event.
• Consider getting a GPS tracker in the form of a watch, clip-on or bracelet for your kids. Joibit, Apple AirTag and SyncUp Kids Watch are some options.
If your kiddo does manage to slip away, don’t panic! If you have a partner with you, one of you should stay put in case your child comes looking for you, and the other should check the nearby area. If you are in a public place with security, contact security for help. If your instincts tell you security isn’t enough, don’t hesitate to reach out to the local police