The sun, the beach, the pool—summer’s the best for kids. But all that outdoor time also makes it a ripe season for certain illnesses.

Here’s how to protect your family from summer’s top 5 most common ailments:

 

  1. Food Poisoning

    Be careful when you’re preparing different foods in close proximity (especially when you’re BBQ-ing). To prevent the unwitting spread of bacteria, keep raw foods (hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken) separate from ready-to-eat foods (potato salad, watermelon). Use separate tongs or utensils when cooking raw meat and veggies on the grill.

  2. Heat Stroke

    Blazing sun doesn’t deter kids from playing hard. Which, if not monitored, can lead to heat stroke. As temperatures soar, tons of fluids and sunscreen are crucial. Remember that sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before they go outside, and then reapplied every two hours. And, bring your water bottles to stay hydrated when you’re outside.

  3. Fungal Infections

    Going barefoot is tempting. But don’t allow it in public places like the pool shower or in rest rooms (which are usually teeming with bacteria). To prevent infections, frequent hand washing and foot rinsing is also extra-important.

  4. Lyme Disease

    Summer is prime tick season (the nasty little insects that transmit Lyme disease). And frighteningly, 37 percent of Lyme disease cases are in children. Be vigilant about doing thorough daily checks for ticks, making sure you comb through your kid’s hair. When they’re playing near tall grass, dress them in light-colored clothing (which makes identifying ticks easier) and a hat. It’s also a good idea to tuck their socks into their pants and pull their hair back.

  5. Swimmer’s Ear

    This ear infection happens most often in the summer, when swimming is most common, and is not fun for kids. To prevent them, kids should wear earplugs or a swimmer’s cap in the water and dry the outside of their ears after swimming. You can also use preventative ear drops before and after you swim.

Taking these simple precautions will help you max out your family’s summer enjoyment. We hope you have fun out there!