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Ways to Keep Your Children Safe This Summer

Washingtonians should keep in mind that water temperatures still are cold even though it's summer. (pixabay)
Washingtonians should keep in mind that water temperatures still are cold even though it's summer. (pixabay)
July 21, 2016

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — After months spent behind gray clouds, the sun has finally appeared and is shining on the Northwest. That means families across Washington will be playing outside and in the water. But parents should keep in mind some tips to make sure their children play safe.

It's important to check in regularly with kids playing in the summer heat, said Maggie Chin, a family physician with Group Health Lynnwood Medical Center, because children don't always show the same signs of heat exhaustion that adults do.

"Unfortunately for kids, they're not as adept as adults at sweating always, just because of the nature of their bodies,” Chin said. "So sometimes they're not necessarily sweating profusely, they're just getting bright red in the face and very warm."

Chin said parents and children alike should make sure to stay hydrated and protect themselves from the sun by wearing hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

People should also remember that water temperatures in Washington are still cold despite the heat, Chin warned. For instance, waters in Puget Sound are around 50 degrees.

For families venturing into the pool, arm floats are great devices for kids, but Chin advised caution.

"They can also put them at risk for drowning if they're not supervised,” she said, "because of the ability of those things to deflate, and they can put kids safety at risk because they give us a false sense of security."

Finally, Chin emphasized the importance of wearing insect repellent and covering up the lids of sweet beverages - which can attract insects. If someone is stung by a bee and begins to see intense swelling or experience difficulty breathing, she said, seek medical attention immediately.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA