Don’t let the heat keep you and your family from having a great summer. Although temperatures can soar into the triple digits, there are still plenty of opportunities to stay active in the mornings and evenings, in the shade, in the water or even indoors. By following a few simple tips, you and your family can stay safe while creating a lifetime of great summer memories.
1. Time Your Outside Play – Set times to play outside, when it’s not too hot. Staying active helps release built-up energy. But be on the lookout for signs of overheating, and know what to do when your child gets too hot.
2. Wear Sunscreen – Always use sunscreen when outside, whether it’s sunny or cloudy. UV rays can still burn skin even with no sun. Reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours, especially if you’re sweating or in the water.
3. Stay hydrated! – It’s easy to get distracted with playing and having a good time, but always take time to have a drink. Carry a water bottle, especially when doing outdoor activities.
4. Be Water Aware – Kids love going to the pool during summer, so it’s important they know how to be safe in and around water. Parents also have a responsibility to watch their kids at all times, even if a lifeguard is on duty. The YMCA offers swimming and water safety classes that give children the skills they need. Financial assistance is also available. To register or find more information, visit www.SinkTheStats.org.
5. Bug Off! – If your child attends summer camp or is just playing outside, make sure they apply bug repellant. Insects can carry illness and bites or stings can be painful. Be cautious around unusual bugs, and don’t let your kids touch them.
6. Stay Nourished – Be sure to pack healthy, nutritious foods to fuel your summer adventures. But don’t forget the opportunities to let kids be involved with cooking meals. Summer is a great time for kids to learn their way around the kitchen. Although, children may not be ready to cook completely on their own, it’s good for them to know the basics and even experiment. The YMCA has parent/child cooking classes to teach kitchen safety and a few basic recipes. To sign up for a class, visit https://www.austinymca.org/programs/nutrition-programs.
7. Summer & Sports Camps – Summer camps and leagues sports are fun ways to stay active and try out new activities. The YMCA offers multiple sports camps and summer leagues for children 4-15 years old. The Y also offers summer day camps or mini camps for kids 4-14 years old at more than 20 area locations. For more information about the camps visit https://www.austinymca.org/programs/camp-information; For sports, visit: https://www.austinymca.org/programs/youth-sports
8. Give Back – Volunteering at food banks or animal shelters teaches responsibility and the importance of giving back to the community. To find family volunteer opportunities, visit https://www.generationserve.org/.
9. Check It Out – Go to the library every week and check out an armful of books. Set aside reading time to read to your child or on their own. Keeping your child’s mind sharp and educated will help prevent summer learning loss.
10. Take It Inside – For those rainy, summer days be ready with a list of fun things to do inside. Collect some cardboard and get creative: build a fort or a rocket ship or castle. Plan an arts and crafts project. Read a book or watch a fun family-friendly movie.
With a little planning, and a focus on safety, kids and families will be guaranteed to have a great summer.