The sun is shining, the corn is knee-high, and everyone wants be out in the sun before winter rolls back in. As people are planning their summer vacations, many pediatricians are asked about how and when infants or toddlers can participate in their parents’ or siblings’ favorite summer activities, such as biking, swimming, and boating. Being outdoors and active is great for the whole family, but safety – as always – comes first when you’re thinking about having your little one along.
As a resident doctor, I cared for an eight year old boy named Kyle. Kyle had been riding his bike when a police officer stopped him for not wearing a helmet. After a stern warning, Kyle made sure to wear his helmet the following day, and that was the day that his bike was struck by a car. He suffered significant injuries and had a long road to recovery, but his bike helmet saved his life.
Summer is a wonderful time to be outdoors, but protecting your family from the dangers of certain insects accompanies that enjoyment. Mosquito and tick bites can be more than “just a bug bite.” The diseases that these little bugs can transmit – such as encephalitis, which involves the brain, and Lyme disease – can be very serious. Just the mention of these diseases can cause some anxiety among parents and caregivers.
Sending the kids off to a summer camp can be exciting and also a little scary. Whether it’s an overnight, or a day camp, with some advance preparation you can ensure it’s a fun time for everyone.
Pack the Essentials
While the camp should provide you with a list of what will be needed, it’s always a good idea to make sure your child has the essentials, including:
I wasn’t much of an outdoors-kind-of-gal growing up in the ‘burbs of Chicago. So when I met my husband who was a flannel-wearing, hiking-booted Wisconsin boy (even at our wedding, but I digress) I did my best to pretend otherwise.
As he introduced me to the beauty of nature, I secretly panicked at the thought of all the ticks, mosquitoes and black flies just waiting to take a bite.