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House Call: Sunburns, bug bites and rashes

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Along with fun at the pool, summer camps and beach vacations, also come a few added health precautions parents should be aware of for their children during the summer months. 

UV ray and sun exposure can cause cumulative skin damage over time; it is also linked to skin cancer.  Using sunscreen to protect your skin is imperative. 

Apply a minimum of SPF 30 at least every two hours while outdoors; and choose sunscreens that are broad spectrum to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Bug bites can also be a cause for concern during the summer season. 

We are currently in the midst of a terrible tick season. Therefore it is important to wear long pants tucked into the socks and closed-toe shoes if spending time in wooded areas. 

Parents should do a full body check on their children after outdoor play. If using insect repellent on your children, apply on your hands first then rub it on your child, avoiding contact with their hands, mouth and eyes. Kids are often commonly exposed to poison ivy, sumac and oak while playing outdoors.  

Each of these plants contains an oily resin called urushiol that can irritate the skin and cause a rash; and the severity of the rash is dependent on the amount of urushiol that gets on your skin.  It is a good idea to educate your children on identifying these plant types and where they are commonly located to avoid future contact with them. 

If exposed, apply rubbing alcohol to the exposed area within twenty minutes which may prevent a reaction or rash.  If a reaction occurs, treat the rash with over-the-counter low potency corticosteroid creams and/or oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl, to help relieve the itching. In any incidence where a sunburn, rash or bug bite continues to increase in severity or causes a health concern, it is important to seek medical attention. 

Cone Health has an exceptional network of pediatricians, family medicine physicians and other related healthcare providers dedicated to treating these common summer health concerns for the youth in our community.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Ron Young is a pediatrician at Piedmont Pediatrics and a member of the Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. Young is a 1983 medical school graduate of the University of Paris. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at State University of New York Downstate.