Summer is an exciting season for outdoor activities. However, parents must ensure children enjoy outdoor activities without harming their health. Parents and caregivers need to be informed and if your situation requires, find a babysitter that understands the dangers of the summer heat and ways to protect children from it.
The best way to protect your child from summer heat-related illnesses is prevention. Hence, parents and babysitters should look at ways to protect children from the summer heat.
Check Air Quality Sunlight
When air pollution meets the summer heat, it becomes even worse. This is the reason it’s encouraged that you check your area’s Air Quality Health Index which is compiled by Health Canada and Environment Canada. This will inform you how much the air is affected by pollution, heat and wildfires.
When the air is negatively affected by the heat and pollution, going outside can put your child at risk of health issues such as asthma. Children breathe faster, closer to the ground and take in more air than adults. As such, they’re at greater risk of inhaling the pollution that settles on the ground from the heat.
Keep Out of Direct Sunlight
Remember to keep kids out of direct sunlight while enjoying exciting summer activities like going to the beach, fishing, or visiting a waterpark. This is significantly more important for babies under the age of six months. Keep them covered in long-sleeved tops, long pants and hats.
Toddlers and older children should also be protected from the sun by wearing protective clothing, applying sunscreen, and, most importantly, avoiding taking them out at heat peak hours.
So, instead of going for outdoor activities between 10 am to 4 pm, plan activities for an earlier or later period.
Cool and Protective Clothing
It’s great to have arms and legs exposed during sunny days. However, if you’ll be out for long, dress the children with protective clothing. Cool, cotton fabrics are a great choice, and wide overflowing hats can cover the face and neck.
This is to protect them from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. When it hits the ground, UV can cause health risks. Encourage them to wear sunglasses with UV protection to protect their little eyes from the harsh sunlight.
Let’s face it; long and covering clothes can be uncomfortable when it’s hot. So, how do you protect the uncovered skin?
Get a good sunscreen to protect your children’s skin from the sun. It should be SPF 15 or above. Look for one with the labelling, “broad spectrum,” as it protects the skin from ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) radiation.
Remember to apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before leaving the house. It must also be reapplied every two hours you spend outside. If they go for a swim, sweat, or wipe the areas you applied sunscreen, reapply.
Let’s Prevent Heat-Related Childhood Illnesses
“Prevention is better than cure,” is a popular saying. Make sure that your child’s health isn’t compromised because of the summer heat by using the ways mentioned above to protect them from it.
Ensure you check the Air Quality Health Index, avoid peak heat hours and have cool, protective clothing and sunscreen above 15 SPF when planning outdoor activities for your children.
Summer is an exciting season that comes with many outdoor activity options. However, parents, caregivers and babysitters must take good care of children’s sensitive skin and remember that though the sun is fun, it can pose significant health risks.