Even kids need sunglasses. Avoid sunburn to eyes with proper children's
ultraviolet light protective sunglasses or swim goggles. Most inexpensive sunglasses are
UV-protective. Sun clothes for warm summer weather include a sun hat with broad brim
or neck scarf, lightweight white cotton long sleeve clothes.
Use children's sunscreen SPF 25 or greater. Apply it before you head out, repeat
every hour or after swimming. Use portable shelters, umbrellas, awnings, or sunshades.
Minor cuts and scrapes are probably the most common injury among kids. They
will fall and get hurt. The mainstay of treatment is good wound care. Pay close attention
to cleaning and irrigation.
Animal bites can be disastrous. Prevent them by looking where you step or reach,
avoid holes and crevices, and use good boots and long pants. Always supervise your kids!
Rattlesnakes and bark scorpions bites are more dangerous for kids since the toxic
dose is much smaller than for adults. Treatment entails good wound care and
immobilization. Poisonous snakes include pit vipers (rattlesnakes and cottonmouths) and
coral snakes. Many hospitals in the West carry pit viper antivenom. Arizona hospitals
carry antivenom for the bark scorpion.
Insect bites are very common. Hymenoptera anaphylaxis is the most common
worry. Parents can carry an anaphylaxis kit such as the Epi-pen-Jr. Medical professionals
can use epinephrine in a Tubex syringe which has a longer expiration date.
Ticks are common too. Prevent by wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants
tucked into socks. They attach to skin for a couple hours before burrowing. Check skin
often and remove ticks readily. Remember, ticks can envenomate and cause infections.
Good wound care is important after removal.
Mosquitoes and other biting insects can be prevented with covering skin also. Use
mosquito nets, hats, and scarves. For kids, citronella is less toxic than DEET, which is
absorbed systemically. There are several commercial preparations for kids. Remember
malaria prophylaxis if traveling to endemic area.
Contact dermatitis is often from poison oak, ivy, or sumac. Prevent by covering
skin with clothing and supervising kids. Technu is a commercial solution that neutralizes
toxins from poison oak and ivy. Use it as a preventive measure after your child comes in
contact with the plant. Topical or systemic steroids help with severe cases of dermatitis.
Medical personnel should take Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Advanced
Trauma Life Support. Lay persons take a "Small Hearts" CPR course in addition to the
adult Basic Life Support. For ingestions, have charcoal and ipecac available.