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Dr. Dickinson’s Summer Safety Tips for Kids


Dr. Michael Dickinson, Pediatrician, Horizon's Miramichi Regional Hospital

Summer is short, and I encourage kids to get outside and be active!

To help kids (and adults) stay safe in during the summer months, here are a few useful tips.

- Biking: Biking is an excellent source of physical activity. If you are going to be on a bike, make sure you wear a helmet. Incorporate putting on a helmet into your biking routine!

- Sun: We live in a province where we don't get a lot of sun so when we do get it, it can catch us by surprise.

  • Be mindful, particularly at the peak times of day when sun exposure is the strongest, which would be just before noon and just after noon.
  • Wear a hat and drink plenty of fluids (water is best!).
  • Apply sunscreen liberally to all parts of the body that are going to be exposed to sun and re-apply multiple times per day.
  • Re-apply sunscreen when swimming.

- Water: Supervision around water is key. Stay close and keep an eye on kids near water.

  • Young kids who may not be great swimmers should wear a lifejacket and stay in a depth of water that is safe for them.
  • Older kids should swim with a buddy or friend.
  • Learn more about water safety from the Canadian Paediatric Society's Caring For Kids website.

- Bugs: Mosquitos and black flies are a fact of life in New Brunswick. The general principle for trying to avoid bug bites is to stay indoors at dusk, which is the peak time of day for bugs.  

  • If your child is going to be outside when there are lots of bugs, cover their skin with long sleeve shirts and long pants, when appropriate.

- The details on DEET: Bug repellent containing DEET is safe to use on kids and is necessary for the ferocious flies we see in the summer.

  • Kids between 6 months of age and 12 years of age should use a bug repellent with no more than 10 per cent DEET. The level of DEET is marked clearly on the side of the bottle.
  • Kids older than 12 years and adults can use higher concentrations.
  • Health Canada offers more details on DEET and insect repellent.

When you head out for the day to enjoy the great outdoors, remember to bring extra sunscreen and plenty of fluids and make sure everyone in your party has a proper hat and footwear.

Finally, take a few Band Aids. It's amazing how many people get a cut and a scrape where a Band Aid is all they need, and no one has one.

Now get outside and enjoy everything summer has offer!


Dr. Michael Dickinson is a pediatrician with over 20 years experience. He is currently the Head of Pediatrics and in the past he has held roles such as President of the Canadian Paediatric Society, President of the Medical Staff and Chief of Staff in Miramichi. Dr. Dickinson is a passionate advocate for children's health.

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