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Keep your family sun safe this summer

Girl in sun hat and sunglasses

Dr Rachel from our Children's Emergency Department shares her top tips to stay safe this summer!

1) Slip, Slop, Slap as the Aussies would say.

Please get out and enjoy the sunshine but remember to ALWAYS apply sun cream. Every year we treat children with serious sunburn, which could have been avoided.

2) Trampolines get lots of bad press, mainly because people don't follow the instructions.

ALWAYS zip up the net and only one person bouncing at a time. More people jumping means more risk of injury and adults bouncing with children is the most dangerous combination. If it's tricky to stick to ‘one at a time’, please be careful and definitely no toys or pets.

3) Off to ride your bike?

ALWAYS wear a helmet. It could save you from a nasty head injury. 

4) From cuts and scrapes to broken bones… how to treat them

If your child falls and hurts themselves give them a pain killer such as paracetamol or ibuprofen and do simple first aid, such as using an ice pack, first.  You may find that the pain goes away and you don’t need a trip to hospital and you won't stop us from spotting a broken bone if there is one.

5) I’m worried my child has a fever, what can I do?

Lots of parents are worried by fevers but they are the body’s way of fighting an infection. If your child is miserable you should give them some paracetamol or ibuprofen. Treat your child, not the number on the thermometer - if they have a fever but are happy and playing they don't need medicine. However babies less than 3 months are more at risk of serious infections and should be seen by a doctor if their temperature goes over 38.

Using paracetamol and ibuprofen: Don't give paracetamol and ibuprofen at the same time for fever. If you've given your child paracetamol and they're still miserable after a few hours, you could try ibuprofen instead.  Don't take more than the maximum daily dose of either medicine. 

6) How can I help my child’s wheeze?

If your child has preventer inhaler (usually brown or purple) make sure they use it. If the wheeze is triggered by pollen they can take anti-histamines too. 

Inhalers work best in ALL age groups when used with a spacer which help the medicine get to the lungs not just into the mouth. There is lots of information available online if you're not sure you are doing it right. 

7) What to do when your child gets burnt

If the burn is from something hot like boiling water, an oven or BBQ run it under cold water for 20 minutes.  DO NOT use butter, toothpaste or turmeric to treat it.  Give them some pain killers and if the skin is blistered or looks white please seek medical advice.

8) Dodgy BBQ... don't panic

Most episodes of diarrhoea and vomiting pass in a few days. Children should be given mouthfuls of fluid every 15 minutes. Don’t just give water; make sure it's something with sugar in it, like watered down juice, milk or rehydration sachets (Dioralyte). If your child wants to eat, let them. Children should be kept off nursery or school for 48 hours after their last vomit or loose stool.

9) Toddlers eat everything!

Toddlers eat things they shouldn't, such as pills, button batteries and room fragrances, often when visiting family not used to having small children around. Make sure these sorts of things are kept out of reach. Seek medical advice if you think a child has eaten something they shouldn't have. 

10) I’m worried my child isn’t well and I don’t know what to do...

There are lots of places you can get help if you are worried about your child... call NHS111 for medical advice, see your local pharmacist or make an appointment with your doctor. If it’s more urgent you can visit an Urgent Care Centre or hub in the City.  If it is an emergency please visit the Emergency Department.

Enjoy your summer!

Visit: www.staywell-llr.org.uk for healthcare advice and information about accessing NHS services

Download and print the guide for your family home below.