Sun & Water Safety with Jennifer Oja, PA

There are several ways you can protect your child from the sun. Sunscreen is really optimal to use when you're out in the sun. Hats are really a good idea also to help protect the head and the face from the sun. Also, wearing sunglasses that have UV protection is a really good idea. And then, of course, clothing that protects the skin from the sun.

I usually recommend using sunscreen that has SPF 30 and above. Lotions or sprays are really good for protecting your children against the sun. lotions are a little better, especially for children, because then you’re not inhaling the fumes from the spray. I usually recommend applying sunscreen at least every two hours when you are out in the sun, and try and put it on about 15 minutes before going out in the sun. And when you're out in the sun, try and reapply it at least every two hours.

In Minnesota we have a lot of lakes and a lot of different water activities, so especially when you get out of the water, definitely put on sunscreen as soon as you get out. The sun is really the hottest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., so if you can choose to go in the sun either earlier in the morning or either later in the afternoon or evening that’s best. If your child gets a sunburn, definitely get them out of the Sun as soon as possible. Cool wash cloths can be helpful, especially if they're really uncomfortable. Tylenol or ibuprofen that can be helpful because sunburn is really uncomfortable. Aloe Vera gel is a good idea because that really is a cooling gel for the skin so it can be helpful as far as calming down the sunburn.

With all of our lakes and water activities, it’s important to ensure the safety of your child around the water. It’s important to monitor them constantly when they're around water. Unfortunately, drowning is the leading cause of death for children, and so it's really important to be cautious with children when they're around the water. Definitely try to do swimming lessons with children, even as young as the age of one. This makes them more comfortable with water and get introduces them to water.

Lifejackets are very important for your children, especially when they are on boats or participating in any type of water activity. You need to always have a lifejacket on your children, even if you're on the beach. In case of an emergency and you do find a child that is in the water, the most important thing is to get them out of the water as soon as you can. Survival for that child is really based on speed at that point. And then, of course, the next best thing is to call 9-1-1 and if you know how to start CPR, start that right away. If you do not know how to do CPR, the emergency responder on the phone can walk with you through any of those the emergency type of a scenarios so they will be able to walk with you and let you know what you need to do in order to help that child survive.