Summer is an exciting time, filled with family vacations and fun activities. But it can also be somewhat overwhelming. There are just so many things to plan and do — where we will go, how we will stay entertained, who will watch the kids while all this is going on. Thankfully there are some simple solutions to keeping our little ones cool, happy, and healthy in the summer!
Summer weather can be fun for kids, but it can also be very dangerous. The combination of heat and humidity can be particularly deadly for children.
So, what should parents do to protect their kids from the summer heat?
Staying hydrated is one of the greatest ways to battle the heat, as I’m sure everyone knows. But did you know that in the heat, consuming super-cold beverages might cause stomach cramps? Or that alcohol and beverages high in caffeine or sugar may cause you to lose more bodily fluids?
Liquids are essential in the scorching summer heat. Plain water is ideal, as are sports drinks with the proper balance of salts, carbohydrates, and electrolytes. Make sure your children are getting enough liquids by offering them beverages on a regular basis. Allow them to bring their own water bottles and keep track of how much they drink.
Eat cold/frozen foods (popsicles, frozen fruit, smoothies, salads)
In addition to liquids, chilled snacks and sweets can help you keep hydrated. Freeze a mixture of liquid (straight water, juice, or coconut water) and fruit in popsicle molds (or ice cube trays) and serve to the youngsters. Blend fruits and juices to make smoothies. Frozen grapes or frozen bits of fruit like watermelon, pineapple, mango, banana, or strawberries are delicious!
Stay out of direct sunlight
Try to avoid direct sunlight if at all possible. Going into the woods is one of the finest methods we’ve discovered to do this! The top tree canopy shades away most of the intense sunshine and maintains damp, cold air close to the ground. Summer is an excellent time for hiking, so take advantage of the tree cover and explore some woodland trails.
Make sure you and your children are appropriately clothed for the hot, bright weather. A tank top with shorts may appear to be the ideal option, but consider the fabric, material, and how much skin is exposed. Even without sleeves, many thick or heavy fabrics may trap heat and make you hotter. You might get a bad sunburn if you expose your arms.
It is advisable to wear a loose-fitting, light-colored, breathable fabric. Choose airy clothing that allows air to circulate through and not be trapped. Look for apparel with UV protection built-in for days when you’ll be spending time in direct sunshine.
If you simply add water, everything becomes cooler! Staying wet is a terrific way to remain cool in the summer, and there are a million fun ways for kids to play in the wettest way possible. Try any of the following:
- compete in a water fight with the hose
- install a baby pool in the backyard
- Explore a river
- Install a sprinkler system beneath the trampoline.
- build a slip ‘n’ slide
- go swimming in the pool
- bathe in a chilly bath inside
- create pinatas out of water balloons
- build up a water table for children
- clean the car
- Set up a “vehicle wash station” and let the children to clean their outside toys (bikes, etc.)
- Water balloon battle (or use wet sponges for less mess)
- Wear a pair of cotton socks that have been rinsed in cold water.
- squirt gun fight
If you need to cool off while out and about, wet a large strip of cloth and drape it loosely around your child’s neck. Alternatively, put a spray bottle filled with water in the fridge for fast face spritzes.
Cool your “hot zones”
There are pressure areas in your body that can quickly contribute to the amount of heat your body generates. When you’re feeling overheated, consider putting a small ice pack or a bottle filled with frozen water in these precise areas to help you cool down quickly.
- Between the knees
- Your elbow bends
Keep things calm during peak heat
The coolest times of day are in the morning and evening, so try to schedule your outside activities around those hours. The middle of summer, in the midst of a scorching day, is the ideal time to rest and cool down. If you know it’s going to be a hot day, make plans to get out of the heat in the middle of the day.
During the day, instead, visit an air-conditioned theatre, play center, or museum. Plan indoor craft or coloring activities at home. Set up a tent in the basement and enjoy an indoor campout. Alternatively, close the curtains, prepare some icy beverages, and turn on the fans for a movie day at home. The less your body has to do in the sweltering noon sun, the better!
While the data is simple, some people have never stopped to consider how they can get cool while keeping the house at a comfortable temperature. But now that you’ve learned this secret, you can cool your home down and save some money on your energy bills at the same time. Also, you’ll be the coolest parent on the block come summertime.
We hope this article has helped you find a few ways to keep your child cool and comfortable in the heat. If there’s one piece of advice, we can leave you with, it’s to keep an eye on the forecast and know when to call it quits. When conditions are right, you could potentially have a blast trying out these activities, but remember that you don’t have to spend every moment outside. There’s a reason school wasn’t canceled just because it might be 90 degrees out—there is no substitute for air conditioning!