Summertime is when children can't wait to get outside and play, whether its soccer, baseball, swimming, bike riding or just playing in their backyard with family and friends.
Though parents want their children to have fun, they know that there are risks when participating in their outdoor activities.
Kristen Foster of Niles, mother of Hailee, 10, and Doug, 8, is prepared to confront her children's summer woes of sunburns and insect bites.
Kristen Foster applies sunscreen to her daughter, Hailee, 10.
"Hailee is so pasty white, with the red hair and blue eyes, that we really have to apply sunscreen on her. Even with the SPF70, she burns really bad," said Foster.
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before going outside. The best sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays which can cause skin cancer.
When Hailee attended her brother's soccer match recently, in addition to sunscreen, she had an umbrella overhead to protect her from the sun's rays.
Even though Foster and her son turn slightly pink and then tan, she still makes sure he wears sunscreen.
When planning vacation trips, the Fosters consider the potential of Hailee getting sunburned.
"We try to reverse our vacations. We do the beach swimming things in the evening because during the day, she can't be out in that hot sun in Florida," Foster said.
The American College of Physicians agrees with Foster. They recommend avoiding outside activities between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is at its highest point in the sky.
Hailee Foster has sensitive skin, but the Fosters do not avoid swimming outside. When they swim at Logan Swim Club, she reapplies sunscreen to her and Doug during every 45-minute pool check.
Jennifer and Jesse Wonders of Howland have 5-year-old twin sons, Garrett and Jonathon, who take swim lessons at Warren Olympic Club. Jennifer Wonders is also conscious of sunscreen protection.
"They have swim shirts and shorts with SPF 50 in them," said Jennifer Wonders.
As aquatic director at Hubbard Community Pool and a licensed lifeguard, Craig Yaniglos is concerned with the safety of everyone who enters the pool.
"We are really focused on teaching children to swim," he said. "The biggest thing for summer safety and parents who are going to pools is learning to swim, but it is not a substitute for supervision."
The Centers for Disease Control ranks unintentional drowning as the second leading cause of death for children in the United States for children younger than 14.
With the increase of visitors to the pool on extremely hot days comes the possibility of their being unaware of pool rules.
"We have appropriate signage everywhere, but unfortunately, a lot of people don't necessarily read all of the signs that are posted for their safety," Yaniglos said. He said that it is the job of the lifeguard to make sure they are enforcing the rules and keeping the facility safe.
Some of the safety rules include not diving in shallow water or running on the pool deck, and allowing only one person on the diving board at a time.
Yaniglos said it is beneficial for parents to have their child attend swim classes such as "Swim with Mom and Dad" class.
"The earlier the better," he said. "We find that the closer to six months that they are, the easier the water adaptation is. By the time the child is one-and-a-half to two years old, there is an inherent fear if they don't have water exposure."
Hubbard Community Pool tries to keep classes at an affordable price so that as many children can learn to swim as possible.
Summer weather brings out other problems..
"My son is highly allergic to mosquitoes," Foster said. "He swells up like a golf ball size on his head and neck. We thought he had mumps, but it was mosquito bites. We also carry an EpiPen. (epinenphrine injection)."
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, signs of an allergic reaction to insect bites are hives, itching or a rash at the bite site, swollen lips or eyelids, swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing or wheezing and loss of consciousness.
Bike riding is another very popular activity for children in the summertime. The Wonders stress keeping their children safe by requiring that they wire bike helmets
"We've all worn them for safety because of what happened to my brother-in-law," said Jennifer Wonders.
Her son's namesake, Garrett Wonders, was training as a cyclist for the 2004 Olympics when he was struck on the road and killed. The family commemorates his memory with the annual Garret Wonders Birthday Bike Ride, which will take place on Oct. 21 this year.
By keeping kids protected from the sun with sunscreen, being watchful around the water and making sure kids have bike helmets, local children will be sure to have a fun and safe summer.