With August right around the corner, kids are playing longer and harder to get the most out of what’s left of their summer. So how can you make sure they’re staying safe in the heat without slowing down the fun? Do a quick safety check with these "beat the heat” tips.
Break out the sunscreen. Be sun smart and make sure to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more to your kids, reapplying every two hours. You’ll want to do this around 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow it to absorb into the skin and decrease the likelihood of it getting washed off. And if they do go swimming, make sure to reapply after they’re done—even if the sunscreen is waterproof. Don’t think you’re covered by the shade on a cloudy day, either. You can still end up getting burned due to those harmful UV rays.
Cover up. Sun hats, baseball caps, bathing suit cover-ups, sunglasses, anything short of a beekeeper’s outfit is fair game in keeping your kids burn-free. Try some lightweight and light-colored clothes that can provide protection without making them feel hotter.
Embrace the early morning. If you’re looking to explore the great outdoors this summer, try getting out earlier in the day when the temperatures are cooler and the sun isn’t at its peak. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. are the hottest times, so that’s when you’ll want your kids to either come inside or take frequent cool-off breaks.
Make sure your kids hydrate. Hydration is always a concern during these hot summer months, and kids are more likely to get caught up in playtime and forget to take a water break. Dehydration occurs when the body is unable to cool off its core temperature, so keep some cool water handy. You can also add some ice cubes to your water bottle for increased coolness. And if they’re old enough, teach them to watch out for signs of dehydration: dizziness, muscle fatigue, loss of coordination, muscle cramps, heat stroke and headaches.
Remember—a safer summer means more fun for the kids, and less worry for you. So stay cool out there!