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Spring Health Tips for Smart Parents

Spring has arrived and as the sun warms each day, you are spending more time outdoors with your children. It's a wonderful idea to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air and outdoor playtime, but it's also important to keep spring safety topics in mind so your family is protected.

Sun safety
The warm sun can feel wonderful after being cooped up during cooler months. But if your kids don't take the proper precautions, they may get a nasty burn that could put them at risk for skin cancer.

Most kids rack up between 50 and 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, according to, so it's important that parents teach their children sun safety skills.

Some basic safety tips to follow include always making your kids wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Apply it 15 to 30 minutes before going outside and reapply often. Cover up with hats and light shirts to provide a barrier between the sun and their skin, especially during peak sun times.

Keep an eye out while driving
Because it's nice outside, your children - and all the neighborhood children - will probably be outside and running everywhere. Take extra precautions while driving through your neighborhood and other neighborhoods, and keep an eye out for balls rolling toward the road, or pets that aren't properly leashed that could dash in front of your car. Often these objects will have a young child following closely behind.

It's also important to look behind you, especially when backing up out of a garage or while parked on a street between other vehicles. Two children may be playing tag and running in circles around the house - not paying attention to what you are doing with your car. Accessorizing your car with back up cameras can provide you with better vision of the potential for kids playing behind your vehicle.

Spring allergies
One of the most common spring health issues is allergies. Children can have allergies just as severely as an adult and can develop them at any time. Up to 40 percent of children in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies, according to

Look out for common symptoms which include repetitive sneezing, heavy breathing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, ears and throat. Fever is not associated with allergies, so if your child is running a high temperature, she is likely sick versus experiencing a seasonal allergy.

Insect bites
People aren't the only ones who love the outdoors when the weather warms; insects flourish as a natural part of the ecosystem. Unfortunately some insects can bite and sting, causing spring safety problems for children.

Bites that parents should be more concerned about include spider bites, tick bites and bee stings. If your child is stung by an insect of concern, keep a close eye on his health. If he experiences difficulty breathing, swelling, faintness or vomiting, get medical help right away.