Finding a pediatrician can be a real challenge, but you’ll be happy that you have one lined up when the summer months roll around, and you have your week constantly being interrupted by bee stings, skateboard mishaps, and skinned knees. If you have a pool, or if your children regularly visit one, then you have a whole other category of health issues to worry about. Here are a few things in particular to look out for, and which you may want to find pediatrician assistance with.
Your pediatrics clinic has probably seen more cases of external otitis than you have seen grass-stained jeans. This particular type of ear infection is known as swimmer’s ear because it can develop as a result of water being trapped in the ear, and swimming in polluted water. Using an ear swab in the canal, or picking at the delicate skin in the ear, can often aggravate this condition. If your child complains of an ear ache, trouble hearing with one ear, and if the ear appears red, swollen, or flakey, then it’s time for a trip to the pediatric office. You can take steps to preventing this kind of infection by ensuring that your child doesn’t insert anything into their ear canal, and if an earache seems imminent, then banning them from the pool until it is resolved.
Trying to get sunscreen onto a kid can be a little bit like herding kittens, but re-applying a high SPF every few hours, especially at the pool, is incredibly important. During those times when you may misjudge how often sunscreen should be applied, or someone else falls behind on sunscreen duty, you may end up with a child that is badly burned and in a lot of pain. Pediatrics doctors may have to get involved if following a burn, your child doesn’t stay hydrated. Relieving the symptoms with a cool washcloth and appropriate moisturizers is important, but many people forget that staying hydrated is also necessary. A bad sunburn in combination with a fever and chills also deserves a visit to the doctor.
An accident like a near-drowning experience is every parent’s worst nightmare. Approximately 78% of submersion incidents and injuries occurred in children that were less than five years old. You will find pediatricians aren’t the first person to visit in this case. If your child has a near-drowning experience, they will need emergency room attention, because permanent brain damage can occur when the body is deprived of oxygen. Prevention of these incidents requires constant adult supervision, readily available flotation devices, and a quick means of contacting emergency services, plus a little instruction for the children on how to be safe around the pool.
Having a trusted pediatrician to call when accidents do happen will help put your mind at ease. Also, you may find pediatricians have a lot of tips to offer for making summertime activities safe. Talk to them about the activities that your child will be involved in, whether it’s a lot of time at the pool, a camping trip, or bike-riding around the neighborhood. Everyone will have a better summer with a little bit of thought given to safety. More research here.