Summer is a time of joy and adventure, especially for kids. With school out and the sun shining bright, the days are filled with opportunities for outdoor activities and family fun. However, increased outdoor activity can bring a higher risk of injuries and accidents. As parents, it's crucial to be prepared to handle common summer mishaps and keep your kids safe. Here’s a guide to help you navigate through the summer safely.

Common Summer Injuries

Being a kid should often come with a warning label but you add in the sun’s rays and the list of injuries grows. Many summer injuries include:

  1. Scrapes and Cuts: With all the running, jumping, and playing, it’s no surprise that scrapes and cuts are common. They usually occur from falls on rough surfaces like concrete or gravel.
  2. Bug Bites and Stings: Mosquitoes, bees, and other insects are prevalent in the summer. Bug bites and stings can cause discomfort and sometimes allergic reactions.
  3. Sunburns: Prolonged exposure to the sun without proper protection can lead to painful sunburns, damaging the skin and increasing the risk of skin cancer in the long run.
  4. Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke: High temperatures and vigorous activities can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke, which can be very serious if not addressed promptly.
  5. Sprains and Strains: Active play can sometimes lead to twisted ankles or wrists, especially if kids are involved in sports or playground activities.

Creating a First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is essential for any family, especially during the summer. Here’s a checklist to ensure you have everything you need.

  • Adhesive Bandages: These are in various sizes for minor cuts and scrapes.
  • Sterile Gauze Pads for larger wounds.
  • Antiseptic Wipes can be used to clean wounds and prevent infections.
  • Hydrocortisone Cream is great for insect bites and stings.
  • Antibiotic Ointment apply this cream on minor cuts and scrapes.
  • Instant Cold Packs are nice to have on hand for sprains and strains. You can always apply a bag of ice or something cold as well.
  • Tweezers to remove splinters or ticks.
  • Child-safe Pain Relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Aloe Vera Gel for sunburn relief.
  • Thermometer to monitor fevers.
  • Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Bug Spray to prevent bites.

Treating Minor Scrapes and Cuts

The majority of the injuries will likely be small cuts and scrapes. Your first aid kit should have everything you need to address these wounds and calm the tears. When cleaning a cut, follow these steps:

  1. Clean the Wound: Rinse the area with clean water to remove dirt and debris. Use antiseptic wipes if necessary.
  2. Stop the Bleeding: Apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or sterile gauze until the bleeding stops.
  3. Apply Antibiotic Ointment: This helps to prevent infection and keeps the wound moist.
  4. Cover the Wound: Use an adhesive bandage or sterile gauze pad to protect the wound from dirt and bacteria.
  5. Monitor for Infection: Keep an eye out for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus.

Treating Bug Bites and Stings

When running around the yard at dusk, you’re sure to get a mosquito bite or two. You can use these steps to address those bites as well as a bee sting. 

  1. Remove the Stinger: If stung by a bee, remove the stinger using a straight-edged object like a credit card.
  2. Clean the Area: Wash with soap and water to prevent infection.
  3. Apply Ice: Use a cold pack to reduce swelling and pain.
  4. Use Hydrocortisone Cream: Apply to reduce itching and inflammation.
  5. Monitor for Allergic Reactions: Watch for signs of severe allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face and throat. Seek medical help immediately if these occur.

Treating Sunburns

Have you already been burnt this summer? Staying on top of sunscreen is important. Sunburns are uncomfortable but can also increase your risk of skin cancer. If you do get sunburnt, act quickly to prevent further skin damage but also to reduce the symptoms.

  1. Get Out of the Sun: Move your child to a shaded area or indoors to prevent further sun exposure.
  2. Cool the Skin: Apply cool (not cold) compresses or give your child a cool bath.
  3. Moisturize: Use aloe vera gel or a gentle moisturizer to soothe the skin.
  4. Hydrate: Ensure your child drinks plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  5. Pain Relief: Consider giving a child-safe pain reliever if the sunburn is painful.

Summer is a wonderful time for kids to explore and enjoy the outdoors, but it's essential to be prepared for the common injuries that can occur. By having a well-stocked first aid kit and knowing how to treat minor scrapes, bug bites, and sunburns, you can ensure that your children stay safe and healthy throughout the season. Remember, the key to a fun and safe summer is prevention, preparation, and prompt action when accidents happen. Enjoy the sunshine and create lasting memories with your family!

College Park Pharmacy, Howard’s Pharmacy, Mooney’s Pharmacy, P&S Pharmacy, and Mossy Creek Pharmacy are independent pharmacy businesses in East Tennessee that pride themselves in customer service. We want to gain your trust as part of your medical team and build a relationship with you. We strive to put patients first and help you improve your health. Please come by and see us.