With the end of the school year finally upon us, many kids and parents alike are eagerly looking forward to bidding farewell to class and homework, and embracing the joys of camp. As parents ready themselves and their children for eight weeks of carefree fun, Ellen Lestz, MD, a pediatrician at White Plains Hospital Medical & Wellness in Armonk, shares some helpful tips to keep kids safe and healthy.
With the Northeast summertime heat and humidity upon us, plenty of water throughout the day is a summer camp must. “In order to prevent heat-related illness, make sure your children take plenty of breaks throughout their long days in the sun and that they drink about 3-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes,” Dr. Lestz recommends.
Equally important is to screen the sun… carefully. A water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher should cover all areas of exposed skin, and be reapplied every few hours and after swimming. A hat and sunglasses will also shield faces and eyes from the rays, and keep kids feeling cooler on very hot days.
And – ban the bugs! Though Diethyl-meta-toluamide, or DEET, is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents and considered the most powerful defense, its use should be monitored and with some precautions, especially for children. Dr. Lestz advises only using products that contain 10% or less of DEET, applied to exposed skin and clothing and avoiding the mouth, eyes and hands. “Have the counselor apply the repellant, and make sure your child showers at the end of the day,” she says.