Home Kids Health UAB expert offers tips for teens, parents on staying safe during summer months and activities

UAB expert offers tips for teens, parents on staying safe during summer months and activities

16 min read

During sizzling summer months, children, adolescents and youngsters spend much more time outdoors. Whether it’s on the seashore or pool, on the sports activities area, at a live performance, at a summer job, or serving to round the home and within the yard, children ages 12 to 18 typically are usually not aware of their fast wants, like rehydrating, reapplying sunscreen or basic solar security.

Tamera Coyne-Beasley, M.D., director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Adolescent Medicine throughout the Department of Pediatrics, and Nefertiti Durant, M.D., affiliate professor in UAB’s Division of Adolescent Medicine, share their tips on retaining youth hydrated, safe and having enjoyable during the summer season and during back-to-school activities.

Q: How do adolescents know they’re overheating?

A: “It is important for the child or adolescent and parents to know the signs and symptoms of overheating that can happen quickly,” Coyne-Beasley mentioned. Signs embrace:

  • Increased thirst
  • Fainting, weak point
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Cool/clammy pores and skin
  • Increased physique temperature

Whether out on the lake or pool, on the sports activities area during apply, or simply out for a stroll within the neighborhood, Coyne-Beasley notes, you will need to acknowledge that, if one’s physique temperature is 105 levels Fahrenheit or higher, it is a heatstroke -; a life-threatening emergency.

Other tips embrace:

  • Wear unfastened, light-colored clothes whereas outside
  • On sizzling days, restrict vigorous out of doors exercise to earlier than midday and after 6 p.m.

Q: What can teenagers do to remain hydrated?

A: “We always want the child or adolescent to know that staying hydrated is the key way to prevent overheating from occurring in the first place,” Coyne-Beasley mentioned. “Parents often need to be the ones reminding their child or adolescent to drink adequate fluids before and during activity even if they are not immediately thirsty. They should also supply them with appropriate food and beverages.”

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, lively individuals ought to drink no less than 16 to 20 ounces of fluid one to 2 hours earlier than an outside exercise to keep away from dehydration. After that, they need to devour 6 to 12 ounces of fluid for each 10 to 15 minutes outdoors. When the exercise finishes, an individual ought to proceed to drink to exchange what has been misplaced, sometimes no less than one other 16 to 24 ounces or two to 3 cups of liquid. A very good indicator is that mild or virtually clear urine implies that an individual is well-hydrated, whereas delicate to darker-colored yellow urine implies that an individual is dehydrated.

“When it comes to hydration, water is all you need if you are planning to be active in a low- or moderate-intensity activity, such as walking, for only an hour or less,” she defined. “If your child or adolescent plans to be exercising longer than that -; particularly in the sun for more than a few hours -; hydrating with a sports drink that can replace water and electrolytes like sodium and potassium (which are lost through perspiration) can help too.”

Other tips embrace:

  • If a toddler or adolescent feels overheated, they need to cease, relaxation and hydrate instantly
  • Provide the kid or adolescent with a refillable water bottle to maximise ample hydration
  • Keep an additional pitcher of water within the fridge and add contemporary lemons, limes, cucumber or mint, or different fruits for a touch of taste

Q: How can I remind my teen to make use of sunscreen when outdoors during the summer and sports activities practices?

“Convincing children or adolescents to wear sunscreen can be a challenge, but it’s important to emphasize that, in the long term, exposure to the sun can cause cancer,” Coyne-Beasley advised. “However, what may be more impactful is reminding them that failure to wear sunscreen daily may result acutely in sunburn, which is more immediate and painful.”

Both Durant and Coyne-Beasley advocate that children or adolescents all the time put on sunscreen to guard towards sunburn and for long-term prevention of pores and skin most cancers. They advocate sunscreens with an SPF ranking of 30 or larger. Sunscreen ought to be utilized 15 to 20 minutes earlier than going outdoors and be reapplied no less than each two hours to maximise prevention of sunburn. When adolescents are swimming, sunscreen ought to be utilized extra often than each two hours, even whether it is waterproof.

Q: Knowing that teenagers can typically sneak alcohol into drinks, how can parents regulate security on this area?

A: “Parents should have open conversations with their child or adolescent about the dangers of alcohol use and abuse, and they should remind them that, under the age of 21, the use of alcohol is not safe or legal,” Durant shared. “Being a resource can really help teens build trust with their parents and turn to them when they have concerns or questions.”

Durant and Coyne-Beasley encourage parents to talk with their children or adolescent about whether or not any of their pals drink alcohol and whether or not they have ever been supplied or have drunk alcohol. Parents can warn in regards to the risks of consuming, how alcohol can doubtlessly be spiked with medicine, and why they need to not drink from a punch bowl or obtain a drink from another person. If a father or mother suspects that their youngster or adolescent is acutely sick from ingesting alcohol, they need to get them to the emergency room for an analysis.

Both additionally advocate that parents know the parents of their kid’s pals and have their telephone numbers and addresses useful. If their youngster or adolescent goes to a celebration or a good friend’s home, parents can plan to casually talk about upfront how they may say no to alcohol and even encourage or not enable their youngster to go to a celebration that isn’t chaperoned by adults.

“Another good reminder is that most children or adolescents obtain alcohol from their own homes,” Coyne-Beasley shared. “If you as a parent drink, do not leave alcohol accessible to your children in your home. Consider keeping it locked up or buying it in small quantities.”

Lastly, having conversations upfront with adolescents about consuming and driving security is paramount.

“If your child or adolescent is at a party where alcohol is being consumed or they have consumed alcohol, they should call you to transport them home rather than ride with someone under the influence. Stress that you want them to be safe and not sorry,” Coyne-Beasley mentioned. “Alternatively, set up an Uber account for them to use if they or their driver is ever drunk or they feel unsafe. They can use the Uber account with no questions asked.”

Q: Adolescents could take extra dangers round water during summer months. How can I remind my youngster to apply security whereas additionally having enjoyable?

A: “Children or adolescents can feel a sense of invincibility; but in reality, parents need to remind them that being safe is the most important thing to practice -; regardless of what their friends are doing,” Coyne-Beasley famous. “Their friends may have different rules from their parents about water activities and safety, so it’s key to talk with your child or adolescent before they go to any body of water about what your family’s rules are.”

Some reminders that parents can share embrace:

  • Always swim with a good friend so there may be somebody to get help in case of an emergency
  • Make positive to obtain coaching on private watercraft and watersports gear previous to utilization
  • Be positive to all the time put on a life jacket during watersports, even in case you are a superb swimmer
  • Inflatable water interior tubes, rafts and air mattresses shouldn’t be used as life jackets or private flotation units
  • Adults and adolescents mustn’t have interaction in watersports or boating when inebriated, medicine and some prescription drugs
  • For diving, dive solely in areas the place diving is permissible. Pay consideration to indicators that say no diving
  • Check the climate for hazardous situations earlier than boating or collaborating in watersports
  • Always let somebody know when and the place you may be in case you are boating, swimming or collaborating in watersports in open waters (e.g., lake, river or ocean)

Q: Any different tips that parents ought to bear in mind as teenagers end out summer activities and head again to high school?

A: Rates of suicide are rising amongst adolescents and younger adults. Most weapons utilized in unintentional (unintended) deaths and suicides are discovered within the houses the place younger individuals dwell or go to.

“On average in the United States, one in three homes has a gun. During the summer, young people may have more unsupervised time,” Coyne-Beasley cautioned. “If you own a gun, you should consider locking it, unloading it and locking the ammunition separate from the gun. You should also consider asking about the presence of firearms in places where your young people play and visit.”

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