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Fun in the Sun...
Without Getting

Kids who grow up in Florida are at greater risk for sunburns now and skin cancer later in life, sometimes even in the teenage or young adult years. It’s never too early—or too late—to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

A hat and sunscreen are two of the most important things to help your child avoid sunburn. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 that protects against UV-A and UV-B (ultraviolet A and B) light. Choosing one of the “safe for baby” sunscreens for older children can be a good idea if your child has sensitive skin.

Don’t skimp with the sunscreen—apply a generous amount, ideally 30 minutes before going outside so that it will be well absorbed. You should re-apply sunscreen after swimming or every two hours, even if the label says the product is for all-day wear!

Protective lip balm rated SPF-15 or higher will protect your child’s lips from sunburn—and from skin cancers in later years.
Hats are an important way to protect the scalp as well as provide some shade for the eyes, face and neck.

The ultraviolet rays in sunlight are known to cause cataracts. Buying your child sunglasses that have UVA and UVB protection is another good idea.

If your children are spending a lot of time outdoors, consider buying sun-protective clothing (you can search online to find several companies that offer such clothes).

Pool Chemical Safety

Storage & Use
Always keep pool chemicals locked and away from children.
Follow the directions on pool product labels.
Be sure to use pool chemicals in an open area with lots of fresh air.
Don’t add water to chemicals… add chemicals to water.
Inhaling dust or fumes from pool chemicals can cause asthma attacks, pneumonia or even burns. Protect your eyes and your mouth and don’t put your face too close to pool tablets or chemicals. Keep kids at a distance!

First Aid
If pool chemicals are inhaled, take the victim to fresh air.
If pool chemicals are swallowed, give sips of water.
If pool chemicals splash onto skin or eyes, rinse with water.

Call the Florida Poison Center immediately at

Home Playground Safety

The surface under playground equipment should be energy absorbent— like rubber, sand, or mulch.

Swing sets should be made of something soft, not wood or metal.

Teach children not to twist swings, swing empty seats, or walk in front of a moving swing.

Follow all the instructions for installing home playground equipment. Make sure it’s installed on level ground and at least 6 feet from fences or walls. Cap all screws and bolts. Check periodically for loose nuts and bolts and broken, rusty or sharp parts.

Don’t buy equipment with “S” hooks, sharp edges, or 5- to 10-inch rings (a child’s head can get caught in rings that large). Make sure children’s clothing can’t get caught on the playground equipment.

Teach your children how to enjoy their playground safely.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
All Children’s Hospital’s Community Education Classes

Active Parenting
Child and Babysitter Safety (C.A.B.S.)
Infant & Child CPR

These classes offered by the All Children’s Hospital Community Education Department can help kids and parents learn important skills. Call 727-767-4188 or 1-800-456-4543, ext. 4188 for more information.

Drowning Prevention Tips from All Children’s
and the Florida Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition

Drowning is one of the leading preventable causes of childhood death or injury. Here are some things to remember to help your family avoid this tragedy.

Use Several Protective Barriers
Enclose your pool with professionally installed pool fencing, gates and locks—
and always be sure to use them!
Pool or spa fencing should be four-sided and at least five feet high, with self-closing and self-latching gates. Do not use your house as one of the four sides.
Install alarms on all doors and windows leading to the pool area.
Multigrain means a mixture of grains, so there could be only a small amount of whole grains.

A lapse in supervision is the leading cause of childhood drowning.
Never leave a child alone near water, not even for a minute! Swimming pools, hot tubs, even wading pools and buckets all pose a danger.
Designate a “Child Watcher” when you are with a group at a pool or beach. If you’d like a Designated Child Watcher badge created by the Safe Kids Coalition at All Children’s just call 727-767-8581 or 1-800-756-7233.
Don’t rely on “floaties” or other devices to protect your child.

Be Prepared
Adults and older children should learn CPR. Review your CPR skills periodically.
Keep rescue equipment by your pool.
Keep a phone and emergency telephone numbers by your pool.
Be sure everyone in the family knows how to swim. Even when children know how to swim, they should always be supervised at the pool or near water.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, ACH

More Safety Tips for the Dog Days of Summer
(plus Spring, Winter & Fall)

Dogs may be man’s best friends, but they’re not always kid-friendly. Each year dogs bite more than 2 million children under the age of 14, and 150,000 are injured seriously enough to require treatment in a hospital emergency room.

That’s why it is important for parents to teach children some important rules about animal safety.

Even “good dogs” can bite when feeling threatened or in pain. At the same time, dogs bring joy into many children’s lives and can be important members of a family or neighborhood. Here are some tips to help your children have safe and enjoyable canine encounters:

Pick a good match. Talk to your veterinarian or an animal behavior specialist about the behavior of different breeds.
Socialize your pet. Gradually expose your puppy to a variety of people and other animals so it feels at ease in these situations. Continue to do this as your dog gets older.
Train your dog. Commands can build a bond of obedience and trust between people and pets.
Avoid aggressive games like wrestling or tug-of-war with your dog.
Vaccinate your dog against rabies
and other diseases.
Neuter or spay your dog. This will make the dog less likely to bite.
Never leave a baby or young child alone with a dog.
When you encounter a new dog, teach your child to see if the dog is with an owner and looks friendly. If the answer is yes, teach your child always to ask the owner for permission to pet the dog. Let the dog sniff your child and have your child touch the dog gently, avoiding the face, head and tail.
Tell your child not to bother a dog if it is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
Teach your child not to run past a dog.
If a dog threatens you, remain calm and avoid eye contact. Stand still or back away slowly until the dog leaves. If you are knocked down, curl into a ball and protect your face with your hands.
If a dog bites your child, clean small wounds with soap and water. For bigger wounds, get medical care. You also need to call the dog’s veterinarian to be sure the dog’s vaccinations are up to date.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Kohl’s Department Stores teamed up with All Children’s Hospital and child safety advocates in Polk County to offer Designated Child Watcher badges to families in west central Florida. Kohl’s contributed more than $5,000 from its Kohl’s Cares for Kids program to underwrite distribution of the Designated Child Watcher Badge. The Lakeland Fire Department helped to distribute the badges—a powerful teaching tool to prevent childhood drowning--at a recent Back to School Bash.

Florida has the highest unintentional drowning rate in the nation for children age 1 to 4 years, according to the Florida Department of Health Injury Prevention Office. Polk County’s rate is the ninth highest among Florida’s 67 counties. Families in Polk County can call Lou Jordan, Polk County Safe Kids Chapter at 863-686-1221, ext. 247, to receive a Designated Child Watcher Badge and water safety instructions.

The Designated Child Watcher Badge is a physical reminder of the most vital safeguard against childhood drowning—adult supervision whenever children are in or near the water. Many drowning or near-drowning incidents occur when adults are present but distracted from supervision by such simple tasks as answering a phone. Even a momentary lapse of attention can have deadly results. The Child Watcher Badge reminds the responsible adult to keep his or her eyes on the children—and to pass the responsibility and the badge along to another adult if needed.

The Kohl’s Cares for Kids program was created to promote children’s health and educational opportunities in communities the company serves. The program raises funds through the sale of special gift items, which are featured on

Lawn Mower Safety

Children should be at least 12 years old to use a walk-behind power mower or hand mower safely, or 16 years old to use a riding lawn mower. Spend time teaching your child how to use a lawn mower safely before letting him or her mow the lawn alone. Supervise your child’s work until you are sure he or she is taking safety precautions.

Only adults should adjust the blade settings on the mower, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Never let children ride as passengers on ride-on mowers.
Be sure other children are indoors or at a safe distance well away from the area being mowed.
Don’t mow during bad weather—such as during a thunderstorm or when lightning is likely.
Don’t mow wet grass.
Make sure that stones, toys or other objects that could fly out have been picked up before mowing begins. Use a collection bag for grass clippings or a plate that covers the opening where the cut grass is released. Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to staff before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads or other areas.
Be sure there’s enough daylight to see the lawn and your equipment clearly.
Start and refuel mowers outdoors, not in a garage or shed. The motor should be turned off and cool before refueling.

All Children’s has an award-winning weight management program called KidShapers: Weight Management and Fitness for Families. There are two programs to choose from, depending on your child’s age, your family’s needs and your physician’s participation in the KidShapers program. Both programs stress parent and child participation, goal setting and strategies, fun incentives, healthy food choices and fun physical activity. A monthly support group is available to provide long-term support and follow-up.

A group program for children ages 8 through 12 meets at All Children’s Hospital and the Clearwater YMCA. It includes 8 weekly group sessions over a 2-month period.

For ages 3 and up, a physician office-based program includes 6 office visits during a 6-month period.

To learn more about the KidShapers program, call (727) 767-6923.
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The information in this publication is not intended to be nor should it be used as a substititue for medical evaluation or treatment by a healthcare professional. Before using any medical treatment or advice, readers should consult their own professional resources or their personal physician to determine the appropriateness of the medical information for the reader. An attempt has been made to provide accurate and up-to-date information; however, due to the constant changes in medicine, the reader is encouraged to research other sources for additional information. The publication is written for informational purposes only and the reader asumes all associated risks. No portion of this publication may be used or disseminated without the express written permission of All Children's Hospital.