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June 20, 2017 - Ten tips you must read before taking a family vacation this summer

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MOBILE, Ala. - The kids are out of school. The SUV is packed and ready to roll. Before you hit the road, though, consider these timely tips from Dr. Jason Richerson, a father, pediatrician, and director of USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital's Pediatric Emergency Department. 

  • Phones should ride shotgun. On road trips, give your communication device to the person in the passenger seat. Distracted driving is dangerous and can be deadly.
  • Click it every time: Make sure children are properly buckled in the right car seat for their age. When you arrive, always look before you lock to be certain everyone is out of the car.
  • A pool primer: Make sure toddlers and young children have limited access to the water. Always have a responsible, designated sober adult present to watch the kiddos. Don’t rely on flotation devices because it’s easy for children who can’t swim to wiggle out of them.
  • Apply sunscreen like clockwork. A good rule of thumb is to reapply as often as the SPF indicates. So a 50 SPF should be reapplied every hour to avoid burns.
  • Boating can be fun, but dangerous. If you're going to be on the water remember to heed marine warnings and make sure everyone has a properly fitted life jacket. Never operate a boat while intoxicated.
  • Keep yourself and the kids hydrated. In hot weather, it's easy for small children and older adults to become dehydrated while outdoors.
  • Where there's smoke... When grilling, make sure little hands stay away from hot surfaces. Never leave children unattended around campfires. Burns are painful and can lead to long-term scarring.
  • When entertaining guests... make sure all medications are put away so curious kids and teens can't reach them.
  • Heat, eat, then chill out. Make sure to cook food to proper temperatures. After two hours (when bacteria can begin to grow) most foods should be refrigerated or placed in an ice chest.
  • Don't forget your children's medications. Be sure to pack inhalers, epi-pens and any meds your child needs daily.


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