Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, summer 2020 will be a little different for both parents and children as they work to adjust to spending more time at home and limited outdoor recreational activities. However, it’s still important for parents to remain attentive about their children’s activities and distinctive needs during this season so they can have a healthy and safe summer. Following is information that will keep your child’s summer as carefree as possible.
- Food – The summer months are not the time to ease up on smart food choices. Most fruits and vegetables are in season and plentiful during the warmer months. In addition, as children’s diets allow, parents should include foods that are high in fiber and protein.
- Exercise – Kids need to stay active during the summer. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous in order to be beneficial. It can be as simple as turning up the radio and dancing, playing a game of tag, hide and seek, or taking a few laps in the pool. The idea is to keep your child moving.
- Dehydration – Strenuous activity during warmer weather makes it difficult for children’s bodies to regulate changes in body temperature. It’s imperative that children stay hydrated by consuming more water than other times of the year or drinking sports drinks with electrolytes. Parents should schedule outside activities during early morning hours, late afternoons, or early evenings in order to avoid the hottest part of the day.
- Sunburns – Serious sunburns can increase a child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Children should use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 each time they head outdoors. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel. Children should also wear lightweight, loose clothing in light colors in breathable fabrics during the summer.
- Drowning – Never leave children unsupervised when they are near or in the water. Children should wear lifejackets or vests whenever they are near water and should learn how to swim as soon as they are physically able.
- Hot Cars – Of course, a child should never be left alone in a car, even for a few minutes. Temperatures in a car can go up extremely quickly. Before getting into a car, check seats and seat belts to assess the temperature. If the interior is too hot, let the car cool off before letting children inside.
- Summer First Aid Kit – Prepare a First Aid kit with essentials and keep it handy for emergencies with insect repellent, sun protection, water, icepack, an antibiotic cream and bandages.