Summer is here! For many families, the stress of waking up early for the school rush is over. Days are longer, vacation is in full swing, and the kids are having a blast. However, the mindful parent will always do what they can to make sure that their children are the healthiest they can be, especially during summer.

Here are four helpful things to keep in mind, and keep your child healthy throughout the summer holidays.

1. Always wear sunscreen

Even when the sun rays don’t seem raging hot, make sure that your child’s exposed skin is properly protected. They can wear rash guards when at the beach, as well as sun hats and sunscreen lotion. When shopping for sunscreen, check that it has both UVA and UVB protection, as the harmful rays can cause skin cancer and other unpleasant ailments. Even a mild sunburn can ruin your holiday pleasure.

2. Make sure they get enough sleep

With the exciting and very long summer days, the tendency is for your kids to want to stay up much later than usual. And because they can sleep in longer than usual the next day, it’s easy to veer off from the usual sleep routine. But rest is so important for kids’ growth, and a regular timetable for adequate rest periods is essential. Eight hours of sleep at night is good for kids in grade school.

3. Keep bug spray handy

Mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and flies… they all come with that summer feeling! But you can do your part to keep your child free from bug bites by having bug spray or repellent on hand. Always go with a child-friendly bug spray, and if you want something natural to keep mosquitoes away, try citronella-based sprays. Olive oil can also guard the skin from pesky critters like sand flies at a tropical beach.

4. Stay safe around large bodies of water

Now is the time to brush up on your First Aid skills. Remember that drowning is sometimes called the “silent-killer” because you may not hear your child until it’s too late. If swimming in lakes, oceans, and giant ponds, always assign one adult to do lifeguard duty. Kids who can’t swim should be well equipped with floatation devices and never out of sight of a grown-up.

If you child is feeling under the weather this summer, the state of the art facilities at UAB Medical West Hospital can be your safe haven. Give us a call or schedule an appointment with a pediatrician here today.