- Charlotte County
- Local News
- Lunenburg County
- Other News
- Police & Fire
- Prince Edward County
- The Word
- Top Story
Has your child complained recently about not wanting to go outside to play because of the heat? It has become a real problem for parents to get their preschoolers to spend time daily outside because they have become so acclimated to the cool temperatures created by the use of air conditioning. In the home, car, grocery store, library, department store, church, restaurant, school. Let’s face it, we pretty much expect to be cool anywhere we go any more.
Like most improvements in our lives, it comes with both good and bad side effects. It is very important that a child get fresh air and sunshine every day. They get vitamin D from the sun, and everyone benefits from being outside with nature. God certainly knew what He was doing when he created our world!
Because it has been so extremely hot the last few weeks, it isn’t safe for a young child to be outside during the hottest part of the day, between 10:00a.m. and 4:00p.m. Plan to go outside with your wee one before it gets too warm in the morning, or wait until after it cools down in the late afternoon. There is still lots of daylight remaining after four or five o’clock.
If you must be outside during the middle of the day, I would suggest you slather on some sun block, provide a large-brimmed head cover, uva and uvb protective sunglasses, and long sleeves (preferably made of the damaging sun ray-protective fabric). For fun at the lake or beach, a pack-n-play for the smallest sun-bather can be very helpful. You can even place a crib sheet over the top to provide some shade. Remember, though, sun reflecting from the sand and water can still cause dangerous sun damage.
Take lots of fluids with you, preferably water, and encourage your child to drink lots in order to remain hydrated. This will not only make him feel better, but will help his body to regulate his temperature as infants typically don’t sweat. Pay close attention to your child. A young child is so small it doesn’t take long for him to overheat.
If you are at home, provide a range of activities to encourage your child to play in sunny as well as shady areas. Try to have him spend only 10 to 15 minutes in the sun before then playing for a bit in the shade. This is a good opportunity to provide some icy play for your curious child. Freeze several small toys in a bowl of water and let him play with it. Even very small children enjoy this activity and it helps cool him down, as well.
Painting the sidewalk or steps with water and then providing chunky sidewalk chalk to see how different it looks when the chalk gets wet is another fun activity for outside play, especially when your little guy gets wet in the process. And, by all means, have fun with your child. Make happy memories. Take a few pictures to remind him of the fun. Happy Sun & Heat-safe Parenting!