Family Advisory Network (FAN) Mail!

Summer is here! Water Safety is Key

Now that the kids are out of school and temperatures are rising, many will be spending time around the water. Review these water safety and drowning prevention tips from Dr. Ursula Maldonado at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX.

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Keep in mind – children can drown in as little as two inches of water. You must be alert and prepared around any bodies of water including pools, rivers, lakes, tubs and even sinks.

If you’re enjoying water this summer with young children, consider these general safety guidelines:

  • Practice arm-length direct “touch supervision” by an adult for infants and toddlers. None of the below measures are a substitute for direct adult supervision – supervising adults should be free of distraction from phones, social media, alcohol, etc.
  • Enroll your children in swim lessons. It’s never too late! These lessons often not only teach swimming, but also life-saving methods of floating for when a child awaits help.
  • Install a pool fence. This should be at least four feet tall, and should self-latch at the gate. Pool covers and alarms are great, but should be used in addition to a fence.
  • Put away water toys if they aren’t being used. If left in the water or near the edge of the water, they can attract children.
  • Don’t rely on “floaties” or other similar devices for your children. These can slip off and provide a false sense of security.
  • Consider CPR training and certification.
  • Keep a cell phone near the water in case of emergency.

For older children and teenagers:

  • Never swim alone – find a buddy.
  • Stay near a lifeguard.
  • Follow posted rules and the lifeguard’s commands.
  • Don’t consume alcohol while swimming.
  • No running, pushing or jumping along slippery surfaces

And before jumping in, make sure to do your own safety inspection before you swim! Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page on Healthy and Safe Swimming and pool inspection guidelines for both community and private pools.

Sun Strategies


To protect from the sun, the CDC recommends:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours (10 am to 4 pm).
  • Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.
  • Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen.
  • Use SPF 15 or higher.
  • Look for “blocks UVA and UVB” or “broad spectrum” on the label.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally (minimum of 1 ounce) at least 20 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin. Remember to apply to ears, scalp, lips, neck, tops of feet, and backs of hands.
  • Reapply at least every 2 hours and each time you get out of the water or sweat heavily.
  • If you are also using insect repellent, apply sunscreen first and repellent second. Sunscreen may need to be reapplied more often.
  • Throw away sunscreens after 1–2 years.
  • Avoid indoor tanning. Getting a “base tan” before your vacation damages your skin and doesn’t protect you from sun exposure on your trip.

Treating a Sunburn

  • Take aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen to relieve pain, headache, and fever.
  • Drink plenty of water, and soothe burns with cool baths or by gently applying cool, wet cloths.
  • Use a topical moisturizing cream or aloe to provide additional relief.
  • Don’t go back into the sun until the burn has healed.
  • If skin blisters, lightly bandage or cover the area with gauze to prevent infection. Don’t break blisters (that would slow healing and increase risk of infection). Apply antiseptic ointment if blisters break.

Seek medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • Severe sunburn, especially if it covers more than 15% of the body.
  • Dehydration
  • High fever
  • Extreme pain that lasts more than 48 hours.

Safe Medical Transport

Safe medical and evacuation transport of children depends on how well prepared you are for day to day transport. All children deserve to be protected as occupants in motor vehicles in restraint systems appropriate for their size and development. For more information visit, Indiana University School of Medicine: Automotive Safety Program.

Watch the Special FAN Page!

Be sure to check out the new and improved, designated Family Advisory Network page on the website! There you will find a brief overview of our FAN group along with a video capturing the compelling stories of some FAN representatives. The site also features:

  • A resource page highlighting items that may be of benefit for FAN representatives, including topics like policy, forms, social media assistance, and more.
  • A members list with emails for contacting other FAN representatives.
  • Finally, the biggest addition coming in fall 2019 will be the members only page. This password protected addition will help highlight each FAN representative with a profile that will include a picture, fun facts, why they are a FAN member, and more. We hope this page will provide opportunities to get to know FAN representatives from nearby states and across the country with the hope of fostering more networking and interaction.

If you are a FAN member and have not filled out the questionnaire for the members only page, please do so here. Contact Margaret Codispoti at with suggestions or feedback for the FAN page.

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