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Treating your child’s summer ailments

With summer here and kids running about outside, minor mishaps are bound to happen. Here’s how to tend to three common summer ailments.

Kids playing in the grass in the summer

When your kids are outside playing in their shorts and sundresses, running through parks or bicycling through the neighbourhood all in good fun, accidents can happen, and they may have some minor injuries you’ll need to take care of. Here’s a first aid refresher on how to treat three common summer ailments.

Bee or wasp stings

Has a buzzy little insect stung your little one? If it’s a bee sting, the stinger will still be in the skin, so pry it out gently with a pair of tweezers, then wash the area that’s been stung with soap and water (you’ll need to continue doing this as the sting heals over the next few days). To help numb some of the pain, take an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas, wrap it in a towel to reduce the frigid temperature when placed on the skin and apply it to the stung area. You can also give your child an acetaminophen to further ease the pain (be sure to read the package label for directions). If your child shows other, more serious symptoms — swollen lips, wheezing or difficulty breathing — promptly take them to see a doctor, as these may be signs your child is having an allergic reaction to the sting.

Scraped knees

With all that running about, you will undoubtedly have to treat a skinned knee or two. To tend to a scrape, wash it with soap and water. Then with clean hands, gently pick out any dirt or residue from the scraped skin. For particularly tiny or stubborn pieces, use a pair of tweezers; you want to ensure the area is completely free of debris. Next, soak a cotton pad with antiseptic, and apply it to the scrape. This will sting, so be ready to hold your child’s hand. Blowing on the area as you would to cool hot soup, for example, sometimes helps. Let the wound dry, apply an antibacterial product such as Neosporin and then a Band-Aid overtop.

Poison ivy

Your child’s red, itchy rash is likely from having come into contact with poison ivy. Fortunately this can usually be treated at home. Soothe the itchy skin by applying calamine lotion. To take some of the stinging sensation away, short soaks in a soothing colloidal oatmeal bath will help. If the rash doesn’t improve or if it has developed into a more serious case with blisters, take your child to see the doctor.

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