Kate’s Corner
Jul 16 2015

  Beat the Heat this Summer

I don’t know if our summer will go down as a rainy season this year or as a bright, hot season.  Each day seems to change lately!  Well, I love the sun but considerations need to be made on days that are hot and sticky.

Heat really requires us to be very attentive to our little ones to be sure that while they enjoy beautiful weather, they are not getting too much sun and become overheated.  Infants are at a higher risk than adults from heat reactions.   Infants and children cannot regulate their body heat as well as adults. Young children are often lost in the moment of play, are in and out of cars and do not have the capacity to tell us when they are hot, thirsty or need a break.

We need to be vigilant when they are outdoors playing!   Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school age children and teenagers should be hydrated at all times.  It is common practice for adults to carry  water bottles with them wherever they go.  Children learn to do this at an early age as well – good! Fresh, clean water is always recommended as the ideal thirst quencher and healthiest way to keep hydrated.  Don’t forget fresh water for pets too!

Some common sense ways to beat the heat:

* Keep cool water available at all times.  55 – 60% of body weight is water.  Water evaporates from the skin through sweat.  Water needs to be replaced to maintain a healthy body. Kidsafe suggests fluids intake of 8 to 12 cups per day. Cool water is preferred as it is absorbed more readily than warm, hot or ice water. Caffeinated beverages actually speed up the loss of body fluid. Remember that 100% fruit popsicles are a good treat!  An indicator that a baby has enough fluid is 6-8 wet diapers within a 24 hour period.  Be sure little ones are using the potty.

* Stay in the shade and keep skin covered in light, loose clothing.   Provide a wide brimmed hat, or a ‘foreign legion’ style cap with flaps, to protect children’s face, neck and ears. Adults should wear hats too!  Napping babies and little ones should always sleep in shade.

* Sunscreen should go on before anyone leaves the house.  UPF 15-24 Good Protection •UPF 24-39 Very Good Protection •UPF 40-50 Excellent Protection •UPF 50+ Highest rating products, and highly recommended for maximum protection.(Kidsafe)  Reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially after water play or active play!  Adult supervision is recommended for application.

* Solid foods and snacks can help keep children cool and hydrated;  melons, tomatoes, celery, all fresh fruits and vegetables, well chilled salads,  and juice pops are all good choices for hot days.  Be careful of dairy, yogurts and or dairy products i.e. mayonnaise, cream salad dressings and dips, soft cheese…these spoil quickly.  Keep a cooler or small ice snack bag in the car or your picnic bag.

Keep skin cool & wet with water play, swimming, splashing & sprays.  Remember that standing water reflects sun rays, sunglasses are a good idea.  Keep shoes nearby; sand, concrete and blacktop is hot!  Metal is hot to the touch and can cause burns.  House fans are good under adult supervision. A change of clothes also keeps children comfortable.

Our summers are too short and our winters are too long.
So let’s get out and enjoy these beautiful days of summer!