Safety Tips for the Dog Days of Summer
8/10/2021 • Posted by Steve Materetsky, MD, FAAP, Fidelis Care Medical Director


The dog days of summer is a term used to describe some of the hottest days of the summer with rising temperatures reaching their peak for the season. For children specifically, it also means the last weeks of summer before we all have to start thinking about back to school. Here are some tips to help your children stay safe during the rest of the summer season.


Swim safety

Swimming is an excellent way to get children physically active, but they can slip away from the watchful eyes of adults in seconds. When children are in or near water, close supervision is needed. Never leave them unattended.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends staying within arm’s length, providing constant 'touch supervision' when in a pool or bathtub.


Sun safety

Protect your children from sun damage. Ultraviolet rays are strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM, so it’s always best to play indoors at this time.

Make sure they wear sunglasses to protect their eyes and consider having them wear a wide-brimmed hat. Seek shade under a tree or use an umbrella.

Children can use long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect them from UV rays. You should use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 to 30 at a minimum, applied 30 minutes before going outdoors and then reapplied every two hours.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants younger than six months stay out of direct sunlight completely with the use of shade, a protective hat and clothing. You should also apply sunscreen on the face and hands when sun exposure is unavoidable.


Bike safety

Make sure children wear a properly sized helmet on every bike ride, every time.  Keep them well hydrated by drinking enough water. Teach your children about road signals.


Keep insects away

Apply insect repellents on the outside of your child’s clothing and on exposed skin.

Never spray insect repellent directly onto their face. Spray a little on your hands and rub it on your child’s face. Avoid their eyes and mouth.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than two months.


Prevent heat illness

Be sure to teach your children about dehydration symptoms. Drinking an adequate amount of water is important. Never leave your child alone in a car.


Burn safety

Never let children play with or be near fireworks.

Parents need to be extra cautious when using grills. Barbecue grills are very hot and children can easily reach them.


Let’s work together and keep our children safe and healthy. The bottom line is to watch them closely and keep them safe. Enjoy your fantastic summer!


About Fidelis Care:
Fidelis Care is a mission-driven health plan offering quality, affordable coverage for children and adults of all ages and at all stages of life. With more than 2.3 million members statewide, Fidelis Care believes that all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, quality health insurance.  Follow us on Twitter at @fideliscare, Instagram at @fideliscare, and on Facebook at For more information, call Fidelis Care at 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) or visit

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