Tips for Active Play in the Sun and Heat!
School is out and the “dog days of summer” are here, some people may loathe this time, while others may love it! Whatever side of the fence you fall on, know there are ways to keep your kids active and having fun when the heat is on! If you are one of the fortunate ones who has access to a pool, lucky you, but for the many of us who don’t, here are some ideas and tips to keep your family active and safe in the summer sun!
- Plan activities early in the day or later in the evening because experts agree that the sun is most harmful between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear loose fitting breathable clothing that covers as much skin as possible, wide brim hats, and sun glasses to protect yourself from the sun.
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30, at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Remember to apply every sunscreen every one to two hours or even more often if sweating or if you’re involved in water activities.
- Enjoy water play … whether it be in the backyard on the Slip ‘N slide or sprinkler or at a local splash park, stream or river! Check these resources for cool, water, fun places in the Triangle and Durham spray grounds.
- Avoid drinking sugary or caffeinated drinks; opt instead for water.
- Find or visit places that offer shaded areas like the forest, your yard, if it’s shaded, or put up a tent when playing at the beach.
- Listen to your body, if you are feeling sick or lightheaded, take a break and go to a cooler place.
- During peak heat, visit indoor play areas such as trampoline centers, parks and recreation centers, bounce house facilities, etc.
- Choose indoor physical activities at home such having a dance party, watching an exercise video, making forts or creating an obstacle course.
- Allow the children a limited amount of time on interactive gaming systems such as Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinetics.
- Visit a children’s museum where there are active play opportunities.
- Watch for signs of heat-induced illnesses; profuse sweating, headaches, dizziness, or nausea.
Remembering these tips will help you and your family have an active, fun and safe summer!