Ah, summertime! The perfect time for children and teens to recharge, explore and grow. As a parent, it’s important to give your child a summer full of unforgettable moments while prioritizing their safety. In this blog, we provide tips to balance fun and your child’s well-being this summer.
Let’s dive in! 💦
1. Protect your child from harmful rays by using sunscreen, wearing sunglasses and hats, and spending time in the shade
Sunshine is an essential part of summer and should not be avoided, as it improves well-being and fosters joy! Sunshine provides kids with essential vitamin D, and boosts their mood. However, protecting your child from harmful UV rays is crucial. Ensure your child wears a face-protective hat, sunglasses, and lightweight clothing that covers their arms and legs. Spend time in shaded areas as much as possible.
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with high SPF, especially during peak sun hours (10:00 A.M - 4:00 P.M). Be sure to use sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or higher Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every 2 hours or after water exposure.
Avoid heat-related emergencies by watching for signs of dangerous heat exhaustion. Signs may include, elevated body temperatures, clammy skin, goose bumps, dizziness, headache, sweating, thirst, irritability, muscle cramps, or nausea. If your child exhibits signs of heat exhaustion, bring them to a cool shaded place and call your doctor immediately if they seem to be losing consciousness as this may be a sign of heat stroke.
2. Prioritize hydration with frequent water breaks and hydrating snacks
With increased outdoor activity and higher temperatures, keeping your child hydrated is essential. Proper hydration help your child maintain their body temperature and improves mood and energy levels. Encourage your child to drink water throughout the day, even if they don’t feel thirsty! Make sure that water is readily available before heading out for summertime activities, and make your child aware that in order to keep playing, they need to drink water and take breaks.
Limit sugary or carbonated drinks and opt for healthy, hydrating snacks like watermelon or celery.
3. Teach your child outdoor safety
Summer adventures often involve outdoor play. Whether it’s the park, beach, pool, or your own backyard, ensure your child’s safety by regularly inspecting outdoor equipment, checking for any potential hazards and never leaving a child unattended near bodies of water such as pools, lakes, or oceans.
Teach your child the importance of staying in your eye-sight while out in public, looking both ways before crossing a street, and wearing a helmet while biking.
4. Keep your child active and engaged
Keep your child physically active during the summer months to promote overall well-being. Encourage them to participate in activities such as swimming, biking, hiking, or playing sports.
Involve the whole family with nature walks, picnics, or going to the park. Limit screen time and encourage imaginative play, like building a fort!
5. Promote healthy eating habits to fuel your child’s play
Summertime often brings tempting treats. Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial to keep your child healthy and fueled for fun this summer. Provide plenty of fruit, vegetables, protein, and whole grains.
Meal planning and preparation is a great way to engage with your child over the summer months. This allows them to be involved in the kitchen and gives them the opportunity to make their own healthy choices!
6. Use the summer months to practice mindfulness and improve mental health
Summer break gives your child much-needed time to relax and unwind. While this time is an opportunity for your child to escape the stress they feel during the school year, it can also serve as a great opportunity to address stressors and prepare for back to school. Engage in open communication and listen attentively when your child wants to talk.
To help your child learn to manage stress and build resilience, teach them mindfulness skills such as breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. If you feel that your child would benefit from professional help, look into mental health services in your community. Hazel Health might be available. Visit hazel.co/get-hazel to learn more!
7. Be your child’s teacher outside of the classroom
School is out, but that doesn’t mean learning should stop! Incorporate age-appropriate educational activities into your summer plans. Local libraries, museums, zoos, and science centers are great places for your child to engage in learning outside of the classroom.
Encourage summer reading and educational games/videos. Foster curiosity through nature, science experiments, and creative arts and crafts.
8. Maintain an appropriate and consistent sleep routine
Maintain a consistent sleep routine for your child, even over summer break. Sufficient sleep is vital to a child’s overall well-being. Sleep recharges children, promotes healing, and gives them the energy they need to enjoy their summer days. Keeping a bedtime routine over the summer months will make back to school that much easier without having to implement a new sleep schedule in the fall.
By implementing these 8 tips, your child can enjoy a healthy and happy summer. These practices will contribute to their overall well-being and support them in creating unforgettable memories. By prioritizing their health and safety while balancing fun, you can make this summer a truly special time for your child!