31 May · Tim Carter · No Comments

The hot summer weather provides the perfect opportunity for kids to enjoy outdoor activities. However, taking preventative measures against the heat is advisable, as it can get extreme. What is not advisable, however, is preventing the kids from enjoying the outdoors on account of the heat. Therefore, it is necessary to work around a compromise whereby you get to keep them safe from the heat and they get to enjoy playing outside. Children aged 4 years and below are prone to heat-related illnesses. The dangerous UV rays not only cause painful sunburns but also increase the risk of getting cancer. This summer, you can keep your kids safe from excessive heat in the following ways:

1. Plan your activities to take place indoors or around shady areas.

Not all the summer fun is at the beach. Take your kids out for a day at the mall and they will have just as much fun. If it has to be an outdoor activity, select a particularly shady area such as a park with a lot of trees. Here they can run around and have fun without being too exposed to the harmful rays of the sun. If the heat is too extreme to go outside, make staying indoors enjoyable by planning for fun activities such as a family movie afternoon. Have cookouts in the backyard (if it is not too hot) and basically, keep them entertained as you protect them from the heat.

2. Keep them rested and well hydrated.

Activities that are tasking or demanding should be avoided or rescheduled for the cooler times of the day. This is to prevent excessive dehydration. If it is not possible to do this, at least ensure that activity is minimal and that the kids get plenty of rest in between.

3. Dress them well and make sure that all exposed skin is covered by sunscreen.

Summer is not complete without a trip to the beach and at one point; you will need to allow this. Dress them appropriately in lightweight but long-sleeved shirts to protect their arms. Wearing hats and sunglasses is also recommended as it reduces the amount of skin exposed. Lastly, ensure that every inch of their exposed skin is covered by sunscreen. Additionally, you can carry an umbrella to the beach as it also limits the exposure to harmful rays.

4. Do NOT leave your kids alone in a parked vehicle.

This should never happen. Vehicles heat up rapidly even in moderate heat conditions. Leaving a child unsupervised in a car regardless of the duration or whether the windows are rolled down is not a safe thing to do at all.

5. Stay informed.

Before planning any outdoor activities, be keen on the weather reports and pay close attention to advisories. Having a NOAA weather radio is helpful because in case any extreme temperature changes are predicted, you will know in advance in order to prepare indoor activities instead. Additionally, learn how to identify heat-related illnesses. As a worst-case scenario, if the heat does affect your child, you will be able to get them to the hospital before their condition worsens. It is important to apply these methods to ensure that your child stays safe in the heat. Play is also important in child care and development so the heat should not stop your child from enjoying the outdoors. Let us all stay safe this summer.

Tim Carter

I’m Tim Carter, a thirty something year old, husband, father, childcare owner, and chocolate brownie lover. I believe children deserve better and only hope this blog will create a little change.