Once school lets out, it’s time for fun at camp, the beach or a local park. But no matter what’s on your family’s to-do list this summer, follow these health and safety tips from the American Academy of Dermatology, Safe Kids Worldwide and the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Slather up. You’ve heard it before, but sunscreen is the best way to prevent skin cancer. For days outdoor—even if it’s not super-sunny—make sure everyone’s wearing sunscreen (including you!). Look for SPF 30 or higher, and don’t miss the tops of feet, back of neck and ears. Experts say to use 1 ounce on your whole body or enough to fill a shot glass. Sun-protective clothing is another option. Don’t forget hats and sunglasses for eye protection, too.

Make helmets mandatory. Whether skating, biking or riding a scooter, your kid should be wearing a helmet. Make sure it fits snugly, flat on top of the head, not tilted forward or back. Wearing a helmet reduces head injury risk by 45 percent, so it needs to be non-negotiable. Also,
make sure the bike fits your child. His feet should touch the ground when he’s seated.

Keep bugs at bay. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, bug repellent is okay for kids older than 2 months. Always do a tick check after kids come in from outdoor activities; look in areas where ticks like to hide, such as underarms, behind knees and in belly buttons. Some kids
also get extra-itchy from mosquito bites; apply an ice pack to the site or dab on an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. If your child develops a rash or a bite looks like it’s infected (possibly from kids picking at it), call your pediatrician.

Be water smart. Designate an adult to watch the kids at the pool—they should not be texting or otherwise distracted. When boating, canoeing or kayaking, everyone should be wearing a personal flotation device (PFD); more than 80 percent of drownings occur when people are not wearing PFDs. Also, protect feet with water shoes at the lake or beach; sharp rocks and trash can cause painful cuts and punctures.

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