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Healthy Habits

Sun & Water Safety: How Families Can Stay Safe and Healthy During Summer Months

As the summer heats up, we sit down with Lisa to hear her tips on how to keep kids safe from sun and water exposure.
3 min read
• 
Published
July 24, 2019
Lisa Beck
Certified Physician Assistant
Lisa is passionate about delivering care to underserved children and loves working with Hazel because she can help provide a safe place to get health care.

Meet Lisa Beck, PA-C. As one of the first Hazel healthcare providers, Lisa is passionate about building connections with the students she works with.

Lisa received a B.S. in Nutritional Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She graduated from Stanford University Medical Center in 2001 as a PA and is NCCPA (National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants) certified.

As the summer heats up, we sit down with Lisa to hear her tips on how to keep kids safe from sun and water exposure. Remember, sunburns and skin damage can occur even on cloudy days!

What are the best ways to prevent dangerous sun exposure?

Sun protection is important ALL year long. The most intense rays from the sun are during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. When playing outside, it is important to be intentional with sun protection. Apply a broad-spectrum (protects from UVA & UVB rays) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more at least 20 minutes before sun exposure to ALL sun-exposed areas. Look for sunscreens that are water or sweat resistant and make sure to reapply every 2 hours, sooner if swimming or sweating. Cover up! Wearing-wide brimmed hats, lip balm, sun glasses, clothing that is not see-through and seeking shady places will also keep you safe, cool and happy!

Is there a recommended max number of hours that children should spend in the sun per day?

Depending on skin type, there is a range of time in the sun, unprotected, where damage can occur.  If you are fair skinned with red or blond hair and light eyes, UV rays become harmful in 10 minutes; if you have light-brown skin with brown eyes, damage occurs in 30 minutes; if you have dark brown skin, brown or black hair with brown eyes, UV rays can lead to sunburn in 60 minutes.

Looking up your local UV Index, the measurement of the current intensity of UVB radiation, can also help. The higher the number, the more likely you will sunburn:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK321117/

What are some signs that a sunburn is actually a more serious condition, like sun poisoning?

In addition to sunburn symptoms (skin red, painful), you may see blisters, fever, headache, confusion, nausea/vomiting, dehydration, dizziness or fainting with sun poisoning.  

See your regular doctor or go to an emergency room if these symptoms develop. Sun poisoning can be life threatening.

What are some things parents can do to make sure children are safe around the water this summer?

ALWAYS watch your child when they are in and around water, avoid distractions like phones.  NEVER leave your child unattended around water. Install fences around home pools. Teach your child how to swim and/or enroll in swim classes.  Learn CPR.

How much time should children spend in the water?

It is recommended that children 6 years and older get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day. Swimming and water play can fit into that guideline! For safety, ensure water temperature is 83-86℉, temps below 70℉ can be dangerous. Ensure your child has a healthy snack and is well hydrated before, during and after exercise. Because chlorine can break down your skin, have your child rinse off after swimming. Reapply a water resistant sunscreen after swimming.

What should parents do to help kids recover after a day out in the sun or in the water?

Make sure your child gets plenty of water and a healthy snack with protein – PB&J, cheese & crackers, veggies and hummus are some examples. If your child was swimming in a pool, have them rinse off to remove chlorine from their skin and hair and apply lotion to their skin to avoid dryness that can occur with swimming and sun exposure. Have them rest up out of the sun to prepare for more fun & safe days.


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Hazel services are offered with $0 patient responsibility for all students through the 2020-21 school year for at-home or in-school doctor visits, due to these unprecedented times. Get in touch with us to learn more.
Parent Story
A father was concerned when his son was showing COVID-19 symptoms. His school uses Hazel, so he was able to contact a Hazel doctor from home.

The Hazel provider recommended he get a COVID-19 test and shared resources to help find a testing center in their area. The father was eager to help his son feel better and appreciated being able to quickly get answers and advice.
Nurse Story
A student came into the nurse's office with a sprained ankle. After icing her foot, she still was in pain, so the nurse called Hazel. Thankfully, her family had provided consent for over-the-counter pain relief because she was able to take some medicine and return to class feeling better.

After the visit, the Hazel provider reached out to the school nurse to check on the student’s injury. The nurse shared that the student’s ankle was improving, and she appreciated the follow-up.
Parent Story
A mother noticed her son was getting low on his asthma medication. She tried to schedule a visit with his doctor to refill his prescription, but no appointments were available. She didn’t want her son to run out of medicine, so she reached out to Hazel.

The provider was able to send the refill to a local pharmacy within one day. The mother was happy that her son would have the medicine he needed. She was also amazed at how easy and fast the entire process was.
Student Story
A student was coughing and sneezing a lot, but her family wasn’t sure if she was sick or had allergies. Thankfully, her school used Hazel, and they could get an answer.

After talking with the school nurse and the Hazel provider about her symptoms and medical history, the student was happy to find out it was likely allergies. She got some medicine and returned to class feeling better.
Student Story
During the pandemic, a high school student was having a hard time coping. She was sad about COVID-19 impacting her senior year, and she was worried about the state of the world. The student was also struggling with some personal conflicts, and she felt she didn't have the right support at home. After discussing her feelings, a Hazel doctor connected her with resources that she described as “life-changing.” She was very grateful and shared that she didn't know where to go for help before Hazel.
Parent Story
Shortly after COVID-19 began, a student began to develop tics. Her parents took her to a neurologist, but they wanted to get her into counseling as well. The student’s mother was having a hard time finding answers to her questions and didn’t know where to start the process, so she turned to Hazel.

The Hazel doctor listened as the mother shared her concerns and frustrations. Hazel reassured her that they would find the right services for her child. After the initial visit, the Hazel doctor partnered with the school counselor and the student’s mother to identify resources and counseling services that are a good fit.
Student Story
A student came into the nurse’s office because his vision went blurry. The Hazel doctor looked at his eyes, but he did not see any injury. As he asked him questions about his symptoms, he started to sense that he was down about something. After a few minutes, the student shared that he was really sad because his mom was recently diagnosed with cancer. He explained that he feels worried, and it’s hard for him to focus.

Hazel called home, and the student’s mother confirmed her diagnosis. They discussed how to help manage the child’s stress, and Hazel offered to connect the child with counseling resources through the school. The mother was very grateful for the guidance and was eager to get her child help during a stressful time.
Counselor Story
Hazel Health has been integral this year in getting our students the mental health services needed to help them live healthy lives.  The staff has been attentive, prompt, and resourceful. There is an evident sense of caring for the work they do and the students they serve. It has been a pleasure partnering with Hazel Health in providing mental wellness for our Garland ISD families.