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Summer is just around the corner.  For most children, this means more outdoor activities (swimming, camping, bike riding, etc.).  For all parents, this means being extra vigilant to keep your child safe and healthy.

1.  Avoid and treat spring allergies which can cause your child to have a lot of sneezing, plus a clear runny or stuffy nose, itchy and watery eyes and a cough, especially when he has spent a lot of time outside.

2.  Follow all water safety rules to protect your children when they are swimming or boating. Most importantly, always supervise your children around the water.

3.  Use sun safety to prevent damage from too much exposure to the sun. Regular use of sunscreen in children can lower their risk of skin cancer by almost 78%. Remember that sunscreen only works if you use it correctly and it is not a substitute for limiting too much sun exposure. Many parents make the mistake of using sunscreen and then allowing unlimited sun exposure.

4.Use insect repellents safely to prevent bites from mosquitoes, etc. which can make your child miserable.


Poison ivy, Poison oak, or Poison sumac 

  

If you think you've had a brush with these, follow these simple steps

.Wash all exposed areas with cold running water as soon as you can reach a stream, lake, or garden hose.  Within the first 30 minutes, soap and water are helpful.  If you cannot do this within five minutes, the water may not keep the oils from penetrating your skin.

.Wash your clothing in a washing machine with detergent.  If you bring the clothes into your house, be careful that you do not transfer the urushiol to rugs or furniture.  Because urushiol can remain active for months, wash camping, sporting, fishing, or hunting gear that was in contact with the oil.

. Relieve the itching of mild rashes by taking cool showers and applying over-the-counter preparations like calamine lotion or Burow's solution.  Soaking in a lukewarm bath with an oatmeal or baking soda solution may also ease itching and dry oozing blisters.  Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams are not strong enough to have much effect on poison ivy rashes.

THINK SAFETY   

.  If your children ski, skateboard, ride bikes or four-wheelers, please make sure they are wearing a helmet.  With good safety training and a good helmet, most injuries are avoidable. If a helmet is in an accident, it is recommended that you buy a new one.  A small crack in a helmet may mean it won't protect your child's head well if it's hit again.