When the weather gets hot, as parents, we need to always prioritize our children’s health and wellness first, amidst all the fun. During this long break from school, it can be great to spend the days outdoors at the park, pool or other communal facility. But all that rough housing and adventuring can easily lead to boo-boos and other, more serious injuries. Therefore, it’s important to keep the following advice in mind so your kids can have a healthy and productive summer!
Proper Sun Protection: Children should wear sunscreen when under the sun, even if they aren’t going to be outdoors for very long. It is best to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before they go outside. Choose a lotion with SPF 30 or higher, and make sure it is labeled a “broad spectrum” sunscreen, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
You may not need to use a sunscreen made especially for kids, but there are a variety of lotions that contain natural minerals and aloe vera to benefit their delicate skin. More and more companies are also including spray-on sunscreens for easier application (and, of course, reapplication). However, these sprays make it easy to miss a spot, so be vigilant when applying. Keep in mind that even if your child won’t be swimming, they will likely be sweating, so it is wise to choose a lotion like the Kids Mineral Sunscreen from Kiss My Face that is also water resistant.
Proper Eye Care: It is recommended, that when outside, your child wears sunglasses with 100% UV protection. Babies under six months old should always wear a hat with a wide brim, and it is beneficial for older children to wear them as well. Believe it or not, eyes are susceptible to being sun burnt which can lead to intense pain and further problems down the road. It’s worth it to buy a pair of cool sun glasses that your kid will enjoy wearing to prevent these complications.
Proper Footwear: When spending time outdoors or engaged in activities, it’s important that your child has the appropriate arch support to avoid injuries or strains. You might consider selecting a pair of orthopedic shoes, due to the poor construction and ill fit that many generic shoe companies provide nowadays. Try to find footwear for kids that help with balance and stability, offer ample toe room to avoid ingrown nails and bunions, and prevent over-pronation and other issues with posture and bone structure. Want a cheap alternative? Use affordable specialty insoles that can easily be transferred from one set of shoes to the next.
Proper Bug and Tick Protection: The easiest way to ensure your children are protected against hazardous or irritating bug bites and ticks is by using an insect repellent spray. You will notice that some sprays include a chemical called DEET while others do not. DEET is a chemical that has been found safe, but it is still best to use only in small doses. Even with the protection of the spray, take the extra step to check for ticks on the skin and in the hair daily.
Pack the Essentials: Sunscreen and bug spray will, of course, need to be reapplied throughout the day. Pack both of these in a summer first aid kit, and bring it everywhere! This kit should also contain a variety of bandages, tweezers for splinters, aloe vera, sanitizing hand wipes, antiseptic wipes and Neosporin. Other extras you should pack include a beach umbrella or a tent to provide shade. Bring along spare clothing in case your child needs to cover up an area that is becoming sunburnt.
Make sure you’re thinking of every facet of your child’s health before you go out this summer. Furthermore, allow your child plenty of time to rest and recuperate on hot, sunny days. Always bring some water and snacks to avoid fatigue and dehydration! With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to have a blast this summer vacation.