It’s the time of year that every kid looks forward to the most: splash parks, camping, T-Ball, soccer, and more! Kids spend most of the summer months outdoors and so it’s important for parents to keep their little ones safe from the summer heat through a few protective measures.
This should go without saying, however, in recent years many parents have been put off by popular reports on the ingredients of some sunscreens. As with anything, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of any decision you make for your family. Do your research. Find a reputable brand. Just be sure that you do include sun protection as part of your daily routine before you head outdoors. This preventative measure to protect their delicate skin is important for long-term health.
Another great way to stay sun-safe is to ensure that kids are dressing to both keep cool as well as covered. Sweat-wicking materials are great for keeping kids comfortable even in long sleeves and pants. For kids under 6 months this is a great option until they reach the recommended age to wear sunscreen. A thin, breathable blanket also works well.
For older kids, we always have a rule in our house that wearing a hat is an absolute must if we’re going outside. The moment they refuse to wear a hat is the moment we head back inside. It’s a good incentive to keep covered and as a result the hat becomes a non-negotiable.
It’s also important to plan activities both inside and outside and take regular breaks from the sun throughout the day. For example, if you have an outdoor soccer game in the morning, plan a trip to the mall or a movie in the afternoon. Though kids are likely itching to be outdoors for most of the day, it’s important to balance indoor and outdoor time to keep from being overexposed to the sun’s rays. Another easy way to keep this balance is to at least find a shady spot where kids can sit and rest in between running and playing directly in the sun.
The sun is the hottest from noon until about mid afternoon. If at all possible, try to plan outdoor activities earlier on to keep the young ones out of the heat at the hottest part of the day. Even with good cover up and sunscreen, the heat can still be too much to bear for really little ones. Planning activities early will allow you to still enjoy the sunshine, but in much safer quantities.
There is nothing more important for kids in the summer than to stay well hydrated. To keep things interesting, add some natural flavour to their water such as lemon and mint or raspberry and basil. My son also loves to sip on herbal iced teas we make at home. It’s an easy way to keep the liquids flowing and ensure that kids are ready for their next adventure!
What is your favourite way to beat the heat in the summer? Leave a comment below!
XO The Good Enuf Mommy
Tiffany Austin is a mom, a wife, writer, and educator living in Canada. Tired of never feeling “good enough” as a new mom, she began a blog to encourage other moms to feel confident and empowered in their own decisions. Her blog, The Good Enuf Mommy, includes everything from helpful parenting advice to product recommendations aimed at making the lives of moms just a little bit easier.