For the future of Sun Valley
Keep your Kids Healthy this Summer!
A few tips for happy and healthy summer fun
Having any kind of medical knowledge when you’re a mom of small children is helpful—whether it’s knowing how to put on the Elmo band aid just perfectly or how to care for a broken bone.
Something else that’s definitely beneficial in the arena of mommy healthcare is being a registered nurse, which happens to be what I do in addition to being a mama to our toddler. Being an RN and a mom can be a great benefit when it comes to your child’s health and well-being, but can sometimes be problematic when you find yourself coming to the worst possible conclusions with regards to your child’s health—a case of the sniffles can easily turn into measles or worse in the mind of a nurse!
So it’s no wonder I’m constantly asked for advice from other moms. That’s why I thought that I would share a few tips on how to keep your kids healthy for some fun under our high elevation sun during this upcoming summer season.
The most important suggestion that I have for moms out there is to apply sunscreen to your kiddos every day, liberally, and multiple times a day. Living at 6,000 feet makes the sun’s rays stronger and potentially more dangerous to your child’s new skin, so make a greasy and concerted effort to lube and re-lube the little ones.
It only takes 15 minutes for unprotected skin to be damaged by the sun’s UV rays, and just a few serious sunburns can significantly increase your child’s risk for skin cancer later in life. I know it’s a pain to (literally) pin your little one down and apply slippery sunscreen to a wiggling and, most-likely, unhappy child, but sun block is serious business for kids and their sensitive skin will thank you in the long run.
Other sun protectors to consider adding to your diaper bag are: sun hats and sunglasses, both of which provide coverage to susceptible areas like little ears and eyes.
Another important part of a healthy and fun summer for kids is staying hydrated. Kids, like most adults, tend to only drink after they’re thirsty, at which point they are already dehydrated. Dehydration in children can be a dangerous situation and signs might include fatigue, lack of tears when crying, and headache. If your child exhibits any of these signs, immediately go for fluids that replace electrolytes like Pedialyte, move them into the shade and seek medical attention.
It can be tough to get kids to drink enough at any time, let alone during the summer months when it’s hot and they’re always on the move, so try to get creative. Play games involving water in hopes that they will drink while they are playing, buy new and fun sippy cups, or add water-drinking incentives in the form of yummy summer treats like watermelon slices. You’ll be on your way to having a healthy and happy child this summer when they are properly hydrated, so keep the water flowing!
Whether your child is mountain biking on the trails this summer or peddling around the neighborhood before dinner, helmets should be non-negotiable for your kids They not only protect their precious growing brains, they are the most important piece of protective gear that your child owns. Most bicycle crashes occur between the months of May and August and are between 3:00 and 6:00 pm, so summer-time should be a non-stop helmet wear event.
If it’s a struggle to get your kids to wear their helmets, try involving them in the buying process and let them pick out their own. Make sure that you always wear your helmet when biking, and let your kids know that there is simply no bike-riding without a helmet, period.
Hope these tips will help you and your little ones have a fun and healthy summer! Happy playing!
Margot Ramsay is a mama to her two-year-old son, Angus, wife to Carter Ramsay of Ramsay Solutions, Inc and a registered nurse at St. Luke's Wood River OBGYN. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, running, nordic skiing and generally being outside as much as possible.