Yes, summer is the fun season – time for being out in the sun, enjoying ice cream cones, trips to the beach, etc. However, hospitals often refer to summer as the trauma season. Not to issue any kind of a high alert warning, but according to medical staff, traumatic injuries to children are twice as likely to happen during the summer months. This spike in injuries can be caused by riding bikes, playing in the water, and even lawnmowers. Unfortunately, children with special needs are at a somewhat higher risk for summer health problems caused by heat and other factors. If you have a special needs kid, it’s always wise to take precautions to prevent having to deal with the consequences of poor choices. With this in mind, here are three ways you can help ensure summer safety for your special needs child.
1. Keep Your Child Hydrated
Children with special needs may be more susceptible to serious heat-related conditions such as sunstroke. The hot weather, especially in southern parts of the country, can adversely affect children who are taking certain medications. These meds may already be responsible for certain side effects such as dry mouth. Also, children with chronic lung illnesses or neurological disorders should avoid outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day. The best thing to do is to keep your special needs kid cool and comfortable in air-conditioned surroundings as much as possible. In addition, make sure they drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks such as soda.
2. Be Aware of Water Safety
Summer safety when it comes to water is nothing to play around with. In fact, drowning is the most common cause of death for children who suffer from seizure disorders. So, never leave your special needs child unsupervised in or near water – even for a minute. And, never park a child in a wheelchair near a pool. If you take your kid boating, make sure they are wearing a life jacket. If you have a pool in your backyard or a hot tub on your patio, make sure the area is fenced and equipped with safety locks. Motion detectors and alarms are also good ideas.
3. Prepare for Summer Conditions
Summer safety depends on knowing what the outdoor conditions are before planning an outing. Being informed is always the first step in combating the summer heat. The second step is to plan accordingly. Be sure to bring along a cooler with essentials such as ice, water, and snacks. You and your child should drink some fluids at least half an hour before venturing outside and continue to drink fluids throughout the day. Also, it’s essential not to forget the sunscreen. Apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) at least thirty minutes before stepping outside – even if it’s overcast. Then, re-apply every two hours or immediately after swimming. Finally, dress your child in loose-fitting clothes and a sun hat. And don’t forget the weather app on your smartphone; it’s the best way to stay in-the-know!
Help With Your Special Needs Child in Columbia, SC
Special needs kids and their family members may need extra child supervision and/or help with daily tasks and responsibilities. No matter what kind of support your child requires, Caring Healthcare is here for you. One of our specialties is in-home care for children with all kinds of disabilities and special needs and we understand how to ensure summer safety. So, to learn more about how we can help care for your child this summer season, contact us for more information.