Summer Baby Basics
Outdoor and Water Safety
When venturing out on a family camping trip with your little one, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, MD, founder and former director of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Pediatric Consultation and Asthma Centers, suggests “[pitching] your tent in a safe appropriate area, not on a hillside or too close to a lake or water. If you are building a campfire, make sure it is well away from your tent and pour water on it to make sure it is out before going to sleep.”
Dr. Roumeliotis also recommends bringing along a first aid kit with these valuable items: medicated (antibiotic) ointment, antihistamine syrup, calamine lotion, fever/pain medicine (acetaminophen), insect repellant, bandages, and sunscreen.
Just as you would never leave a child unattended in a car, you should never leave a child alone in or near water—even for a moment. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 260 children under five years of age drown each year in residential swimming pools and spas. The CPSC estimates that another 3,000 children under age five are treated in hospital emergency rooms following submersion accidents each year.
Learn basic first aid and CPR and make sure any adults watching young children at a pool or lake know resuscitation. Surround backyard swimming pools on all sides with a sturdy, tall fence (at least five feet).
The AAP recommends that gates around pools self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach. Also, keep rescue equipment—a shepherd’s hook (a long pole with a hook on the end), a life preserver, and a telephone—near the pool. If your child is in or around water, a good rule to abide by is to make sure you’re within arm’s reach at all times.
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