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Cures For 9 Common (and Really Annoying) Summer Bummers

Aug 10 2015 - 6:42am

Summertime's supposed to be all about fun-filled, agenda-free days, outdoor activity, and staying up (just a little bit) past bedtime. A surefire way to throw a wrench into that plan? A painful splinter, a killer mosquito bite, or a bad case of swimmer's ear. They're all inevitable parts of being a kid, but the faster we can prevent or get rid of them, the better! Here, nine cures for the most common complaints of the Summer.

Source: Thinkstock [1]

Bug Bites

Problem: No matter how many citronella candles you light, and how much but spray you spray, those pesky mosquitos are bound to bite.

Solved: From baking soda to vinegar, our readers shared their top home remedies [2] for taking the sting out of those bothersome bites. Best of all? You're likely to have most of the necessary products already in your pantry.

Green Hair

Problem: While chlorine can have damaging effects on all colors of hair, blondes are especially susceptible to discoloration . . . and really, who wants green hair?

Solved: Ultra Swim [3] has been around forever — for good reason. Come Summer time, swap it for your kids' regular shampoo, and use a leave-in conditioner to restore moisture. If they're in the pool constantly and have light-colored hair, a swimming cap is a good idea.

Source: Flickr user Tony Crider [4]

Swimsuit Snags and Fading

Problem: With the amount of time that kids spend in their swimsuits during the Summer, it's no wonder that they're susceptible to snags and fast fading.

Solved: The cement surface that surrounds most pools is prime for snagging. If your kids are sitting by the side of the pool, try to get a towel under their little bums. According to VIP Cleaners [5], you should always hand-wash suits with mild detergent, and be sure to rinse thoroughly. To dry, gently roll the suit in a towel to remove excess water, then allow it to air dry (away from the sun).

Source: Flickr user Ed Yourdon [6]

Wood Splinters

Problem: Ouch! Running around barefoot on the boardwalk is fun, until there's a tiny piece of wood ingrained in your kid's hand or foot.

Solved: To prevent infection, the most important thing you can do is keep the splinter site clean. Wash it with soap and water, then use a pair of sterilized tweezers to pry the wood out. Alternatively, if it's sticking out of the skin's surface, you can try putting a piece of Scotch tape on to see if it'll come out that way instead.


Problem: As the Summer camp season kicks off, kids in close quarters are likely to lead to outbreaks of these little creepy crawlers.

Solved: Follow our eight-step guide [7] that includes tips for both preventing and getting rid of an infestation in your kiddo's crowning glory.

Red Eyes

Problem: Chlorine exposure can leave eyes red, stinging, and/or puffy.

Solved: The Mayo Clinic's best advice is to try to get your kids to wear goggles [8] in the pool. If that doesn't work (or they're unwilling), rinse their eyes out with a sterile eyewash or artificial tear solution immediately after they return from the pool.

Source: Flickr user Rona Proudfoot [9]

All-Over Chlorine Irritation

Problem: Sensitive, dry skin is particularly prone to "chlorine itch" or "chlorine rash."

Solved: Get your kids to rinse off in the shower immediately after they've been in a swimming pool. Use cool water and a basic, natural soap. Afterward, apply a heavy moisturizing or anti-itch cream.

Swimmer's Ear

Problem: Swimmer's ear is an inflammation of the ear canal [10] that's caused when water, sand, or other debris accumulate and cause the growth of bacteria or fungus, according to Everyday Health.

Solved: Keep ears dry by gently tipping the head from side to side after each swim. Dry the outer ear with a soft towel or cloth to get rid of any residual water. The Mayo Clinic suggests applying a teaspoon of a homemade solution of one part white vinegar and one part rubbing alcohol [11] to each ear to facilitate drying and help prevent the growth of bacteria. The pediatrician can also prescribe medicated ear drops if the damage is already done.


Problem: An unfortunate and unwelcome souvenir from a day of fun at the beach or pool, sunburn isn't just uncomfortable, it can have scary repercussions years down the line as well.

Solved: Every mom knows that frequent and thorough sunscreen [12] application is essential any time your kids are going to be playing out in the sun. But if the rays get the best of them, there are a few wise ways to treat the painful burn. The good news, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, is that young skin heals a lot more quickly than older skin [13]. Since sunburn can cause dehydration, make sure that your child drinks plenty of fluids. A bath in a clear (no bubbles!), lukewarm tub can cool and soothe the skin, as can the application of a light moisturizing or calamine lotion. Steer clear of any product containing alcohol, hydrocortisone, benzocaine, or added antihistatmines. And be sure to use a gentle hand when applying lotion — the last thing that burn needs is added agitation.

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