Beat the Heat: 3 Tips for Safety in the Sun

Summer is a time for playing outside and enjoying the sunshine, but many of us know from experience that too much summer fun can lead to unhappy side effects like painful sunburn and bug bites.

We’ve rounded up three helpful tips to make sure you and your family beat the heat this summer.

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1. Stay Hydrated

It’s so easy to forget to stay hydrated, but if you’re spending time basking in the sun’s rays, you’ll want to keep a bottle of water nearby.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends limiting outdoor activity to the morning and evening. If you or your kids are running around in the heat, the CDC says you should drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour.

Staying hydrated is a good way to prevent heat stroke, so make sure you have plenty of thirst quenchers on hand. If your kids are not the biggest fans of sipping water, try dropping in some fresh fruit (strawberries, orange slices, blueberries) to perk it up. Or brew a pitcher of caffeine-free tea (no need to add sugar) the night before and chill it in the fridge for a yummy water alternative.

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2. Block the Sun

According to WebMD, the sun is at its peak between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. which means you’ll want to take extra precaution during those hours. WebMD recommends taking a three-pronged approach to staying away from sunburn: Clothes, shade and sunscreen.

Outfit your child with a nifty water-resistant hat. Floppy Tops makes great reversible hats (good for both sun and rain protection) that come in a variety of colors. Bonus: They also fold up into a tiny pouch that fits into your pockets. Sunglasses that block UV rays (even for babies!) will help keep eyes safe in the sun.

Try to stay in the shade as much as possible, and apply that sunscreen! Look for at least 30 SPF, and reapply every two hours or more frequently if you’re swimming. Apply sunscreen before heading outdoors, and make sure to get the easily-forgotten spots like ears and feet.

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3. Keep the Bugs Away

Backyard picnics and trips to the playground are highlights for kids during the warmer months, but itchy bug bites can quickly spoil the fun. The good news is, they’re easy to avoid!

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that you stay away from scented soaps or perfumes on your child, which can attract bugs. AAP also recommends steering clear of bright colors or flowery prints when dressing your child.

The current AAP and CDC recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to 30% DEET. DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months of age.

Try not to use a sunscreen/insect combination repellent cream, even though that sounds like a good multitasking product. AAP says sunscreen needs to be reapplied frequently, but the bug repellent does not need to be reapplied.

 

These simple tips will help you make the most of the sunny days ahead!