This summer has been an extremely hot one, and very busy! We have had many, many days of upper 90′s and 100-degree temperatures without any real break in between. Plus, with Megan being on swim team, we are out in the heat every day. It is very draining, and if you do not remain properly hydrated – it can by very dangerous. With our winters being so cold, the kids are inside much of the winter – I hate to feel that during the summer we have to keep them cooped up indoors as well.
Beat the Summer Heat
Here are some ways to protect your kids against the summer heat, while still allowing them to play!
Your kids have to remain hydrated while outside. I like to fill-up their water bottles with mostly ice and then add some water. It keeps the water cool, and the ice will melt adding to their liquid intake. They should not be hydrating with sugary juices, sports drinks or caffeinated sodas; good old-fashioned water is the best way keep their liquid intake up. Even at times they may not feel thirsty, they should still drink. Not being thirsty is not a measure of proper hydration.
Drink A Lot!
So just how much water should kids drink during outdoor play in the heat? First you want to make sure they are properly hydrated prior to going outside to play, and then you want to enforce periodic drinking during their time outdoors. Here is a guide, recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- For children weighing 88 pounds, they should drink at least 5 ounces of chilled water for every 20 minutes of play.
- For children weighing up to 132 pounds, they should drink at least 9 ounces of chilled water for every 20 minutes of play.
Waiting for you child to tell you they are thirsty may be a sign that he/she is already dehydrated so don’t wait for them to tell you.
Plan Their Playtime
You should schedule their playtime before or after the hottest time of the day, which is 11 am – 3 pm. If they must play outside, have them play in a shaded area and drink plenty of water.
Pick Cool Clothes
My oldest Megan already recognizes which clothes attract heat and those that don’t. She has a pair of black shorts and, on a day when it is going to be very hot, which is quite often, she refuses to wear them since they will attract heat. One layer of lightweight, light-colored clothing is perfect. Try to choose cotton since it is more “breathable”, allowing sweat to evaporate. If their clothes do get sweaty, change them since they can feel heavy.
Play With Water!
Although we do go to the pool quite often, there are days they just want to stay home and play with their friends in the neighborhood. Allowing them to play with water is a great way to keep them cooled off to reduce the chances of them overheating. We purchased a lawn water slide that the kids absolutely love! We also set up a sprinkler for them, or when I’m watering the flowers I chase them around the yard with the hose! But, you can also allow them to play with water balloons, water guns, and those big old super soakers!
What are signs of too much heat?
Some signs of heat exhaustion are: developing an unexplained fever higher then 102 F after play, nausea, vomiting, fainting, confusion, diarrhea, or if their skin feels hot and dry, or stops sweating all together. With any of these symptoms, you should seek medical assistance immediately. Bring your child indoors immediately and call your pediatrician. Start bringing down their body temperature right away with a cool shower or by having them lie down and place cool (not cold) towels over their body. Also, they should start taking sips of cool water to get rehydrated.
— amomhavingfun (@amomhavingfun) July 15, 2012
Disclaimer: As a member of Clever Girls Collective, I was selected to participate in the Healthy Routines program sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and Colgate-Palmolive. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #healthyhabits #cgc