Welcome to Childhealthy’s latest update. Summer is all about fun in the sun, and most importantly, it’s the start of a long school holiday for your children. Many families will decide to spend some, if not most of the summer holiday at the beach. Although it is a great place to have fun and make memories with your family, you must understand the importance of practising beach safety, especially with your children. This newsletter by Childhealthy will cover some essential beach safety topics, from applying sun cream to staying hydrated.
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Also, if you are concerned about the latest news about Polio vaccinations for 1-9 year olds in London, please read below.
- Note on Polio In London
- Apply plenty of sun cream
- Stay hydrated and cool
- Pack beach essentials
- Wear sun protection clothing
- Life jackets and armbands
- New Childhealthy pages
- Childhealthy updates
- How to reach us
Note on Polio Vaccinations
Following the discovery of the polio virus in sewage in parts of London, the medical body that advises the government on immunisations, the JCVI, has recommended all 1 to 9-year-olds living in London should have a booster dose of the polio vaccine even if up to date with their vaccine schedule.
Please contact our office or your usual doctor to arrange a visit for this vaccination.
This is not a cause for concern or worry for parents, but an opportunity to add extra protection. There is more information through the links below.
Apply plenty of sun cream
Sun cream is one beach essential that you must pack into your bag this summer. The cream includes many active ingredients that help protect your kids from the sun's harmful UV rays. You must apply sun cream to stop the skin from burning. Unfortunately, sunburn is painful - and can increase your child's risk of severe illnesses like skin cancer. You should apply sun cream to any area of the skin exposed to the sun. Regularly reapply every 2 hours. Regular application is vital as the sun can dry the cream off the skin and seawater can wash it away.
In terms of how much sun cream you should apply, research suggests that you should use the equivalent of two tablespoons of product on exposed areas. When shopping for sun cream, you must pay close attention to the sun protection factor (SPF). This measure signifies how much protection the product offers against UVB light. Sun creams are rated on a scale of 2 to 50+. You should opt for a factor 50 sun cream as this will provide your child with the strongest form of protection. However, anything above SPF 30 will offer a satisfactory amount of protection. Furthermore, always look for a sun cream that has a UVA rating of at least 4-stars. You can learn more about the importance of sun safety by reading our blog.
How to stay hydrated and cool
All parents must ensure their child stays hydrated and cool while at the beach. Hydration is vital for helping to regulate your child's body temperature and giving them the energy they need to enjoy their fun day at the beach. It also will prevent dehydration. Familiarise yourself with the common signs and symptoms of dehydration below:
- Dry mouth, lips, and eyes
- Dark yellow urine that has a strong smell
We have compiled a list of the top 3 tips to help keep your children and babies hydrated at the beach. We have also included some tips on how to stay cool:
- Tip 1: Avoid being in direct sunlight. Seek shade as much as possible.
- Tip 2: Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day. Ensure your children are regularly drinking, not just when they are thirsty.
- Tip 3: Bring fruits and vegetables to snack on. They have a high water content to help keep your children and babies hydrated.
Beach essentials for kids
You must pack all the necessary beach essentials to ensure your kids can enjoy their day out safely. Let’s explore the list of beach essentials below:
- Sun cream: Pack a sun cream with an SPF of 30 or more and a 4-star UVA rating or more. Regularly apply the cream every two hours to prevent sunburn.
- Protective sun clothing and accessories: Sunglasses, beach shoes, hats, and t-shirts are vital pieces of protective clothing.
- First aid kit: You must have a first aid kit on hand to help you deal with minor injuries like bumps or scrapes.
- Plenty of water and food: Vital for helping your children and babies remain hydrated. You should bring your food and drink in a cool bag - so it doesn’t get warm throughout the day.
- Towels: These are a must to help your children dry off from the sea. They are also ideal for sitting on, as the ground will be hot.
- Family games/entertainment: Beach balls, paddles, buckets and spades, the list is endless! There are so many items you can take to help keep your children and babies entertained.
Wear sun protection clothing
Clothing can shield your children from harmful UV rays - so they do not fall victim to sunburn. It is an effective and easy way to keep your kids safe. Unlike sun cream, you don’t have the burden of reapplying. However, you should always apply sun cream to any exposed areas.
Some of the best sun protection clothing includes big hats, sunglasses and loose-fitted clothing. The fabric of the clothing is something you should pay close attention to. Dense fabrics like canvas are better than sheer materials as they will not let UV radiation through. Dark colour fabrics will also keep harmful UV rays at bay as they absorb the UV rays rather than allowing them to penetrate.
Life jackets and armbands
Water and sea safety is vital at the beach. The sea poses many risks to your children, including strong waves, rip tides, and cold-water shock. So, you must know how to navigate the water safely. Ensure an adult/parent is always with your child in the water. Provide your children with life jackets and armbands to minimise their risk of drowning. These buoyancy aids will also teach them how to float. Ensure your children are confident swimmers before you take them into the sea, and avoid swimming too far. You should always make a conscious effort to check the tide report before entering the sea. If you are unsure whether the tide is safe, choose a lifeguarded beach and ask them for advice.
New Childhealthy pages
If you are looking to book a blood test for your child or are looking for some useful tips on how to keep your children hydrated, please visit these pages for more information:
Dehydration In Children And Babies: This article explores the importance of hydration, the signs and symptoms of dehydration in children and babies, and what to do if your child is dehydrated.
Blood test page: Our newly improved blood test page will provide you with information about how the process works, what a blood test shows, why you should arrange a blood test for your child and how to book an appointment.
This month we wanted to use this update section to say thank you.
Thank you to all the families who have sent in feedback and comments for all our updates on social media, our monthly newsletter, providing online reviews, emailed comments and questions and even in-person feedback in the clinic. Every communication we produce is guided by our interactions with families and we want them to be as valuable as possible for you. We look forward to developing these communications further during the rest of the year, so please contact us with your thoughts and suggestions.
How to reach us
Follow us on our social channels for regular updates from the Childhealthy team, and as always please do let us know about any topics you want to see covered via email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you all have great summer holidays and enjoy the rest of your month!
Dr Yiannis and the Childhealthy team