For those of us in the northern hemisphere, summer heat is truly upon us. Sticky days and sweltering evenings have arrived in full force. And although we love a cool room just as much as the next person, it’s important to enjoy the long summer days with your little ones to the absolute fullest. Read on to see our tips on how to safely and comfortably spend time with your children out of doors and under the summer sky until the fireflies come out to play.
Timing: The hours between 11:00 and 15:00 are usually the hottest. The sun is more or less directly overhead and strongest during this time. If possible, try and schedule outdoor activities before or after this time. Or, if out of doors, try to spend some or most of this time in a shady area.
Hydration: This one is at the very top of our list. Make sure that your child is hydrated before going outside and have some liquid available while outside as well as after play is done.
Sun Exposure: Children under the age of six months old should not be exposed to the sun and children under the age of one year old should not be exposed to direct sunlight. For those children that will be exposed to the sun, apply PABA-free SPF 30 or higher a full 30 minutes before heading out of doors so it can absorb into the skin. Reapply every two hours and know that even if it is cloudy out, sunburn is still possible.
Clothing: Cotton and linen allow the skin to breathe better than polyester and other synthetic fabrics. Try to dress your child in loose fitting, light clothing and insist on them wearing a hat. If it’s possible that your child will keep sunglasses on, use them.
Metal and Other Hot Surfaces: Don’t forget that seat belt buckles and metal objects such as playground equipment can get very hot. Make sure to check surfaces before allowing your child to touch them. Make sure that bare feet do not touch hot surfaces—even sand—either. Protect those precious little feet and toes!