Children’s health School holidays

How to keep your child healthy in the holidays

If you’re a parent, here’s what you should know about treating and preventing common summer holiday health problems

The end of the summer school term is great news for children. But for parents it can be more of a challenge. Not only do you have to come up with ideas to keep your little ones entertained but you have to keep them healthy too, which isn’t always easy. So here are some tips on how to

manage some of the most common health worries during the summer, including how your local Careway pharmacist can help.

Cuts and grazes If your child falls over while out playing, they may come home with a cut or a graze. Most are minor and can be treated easily at home.

What should you do? Apply pressure to the area with a clean towel or handkerchief to stop any bleeding, then clean the wound under running tap water (make sure your hands are clean first). Pat the skin dry then apply a sterile adhesive dressing, such as a plaster. Remove the dressing after a few days.

Allergies Allergies are common in children, and at this time of year many are affected by hayfever, which is an allergy to plant pollen. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and coughing.

What should you do? Nobody wants to keep their child indoors throughout the summer holidays, so if your little

36 All About health

one has hayfever, ask your local pharmacist about medicines for children that may relieve their symptoms, as well as tips to reduce their exposure to pollen (such as wearing wrap-around sunglasses to stop pollen getting into their eyes and putting a barrier balm around their nostrils to trap pollen before it gets into their nose).

Sunburn If your child is exposed to too much sun it can result in sunburn and an increased risk of skin cancer later in life.

What should you do? Protect your child’s skin by using a suitable sunscreen product – ask your pharmacist to recommend the best product for their skin. Your pharmacist can also tell you how to apply sunscreen, as you need to make sure all parts of exposed skin are covered and that the sunscreen is reapplied often throughout the day. Other things you can do to keep their skin safe include encouraging them to play in the shade as much as possible, and covering them up in loose cotton clothes. If your child does get sunburn, get

them out of the sun as soon as you can and cool their skin by sponging it with cold water. Make sure they drink plenty of fluids to help cool down, and use an aloe vera lotion to soothe their skin. Try to avoid exposing the sunburned skin to the sun until it's fully healed.

Getting out and about

We can all be guilty of spending too much time relaxing when we should be getting active. This can be the case for children too. Try encouraging them to join your

local sports club, or take them swimming at the nearest leisure centre. Summer is also an ideal time for them to be out riding their bike with their friends. Turn to page 38 for more ideas

about staying active this summer. Also try to make sure your children

eat healthily rather than raiding the kitchen cupboard for crisps, chocolate and sugary drinks when they come home after being out and about. Stock your fridge with lots of fresh fruit such as strawberries, pineapple chunks and mangoes for them to snack on instead.

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