June 21 marks the official first day of summer, but already, the warmer, sunnier weather and longer days have inspired many people to exercise outdoors. As much as we run around outside, I have nothing on my kids! They are energy machines, often coming back inside covered in sweat.
Stacey Snelling, associate dean of American University’s School of Education, Teaching and Health offered up some tips to us moms to help keep our kids cool (as well as ourselves).
Plan Your Outdoors Activity for the Coolest Time of Day
Many people think the evening is the coolest time of day, but actually, it is early in the morning just before the sun rises. So if you’re planning that family hike, think about heading out the door first thing in the morning.
Clothing choice is important. Wear light colors as they reflect light, and items made from moisture wicking material, not cotton, which absorbs sweat and feels heavy when saturated. Think about purchasing sun tops, which have become extremely popular beachwear for kids.
Take It Slow
Listen to what your child says or how he’s acting. If he complains of feeling sick or dizzy, stop his activity immediately to rest, cool down, and hydrate.
This seems like such an obvious one. But I can’t tell you how many times we’ve headed outdoors without a water bottle in hand. And even if we do have water available, my kids don’t always stop to drink. Think about setting times for the kids to take a five-minute break for some water or Kool-aide.
Don’t Forget the Sunblock
Numerous brands make light-feeling and sweat resistant sport sunblock formulas that won’t run in your child’s eyes, so there’s no excuse for skipping sun protection.
In addition to these tips, if you or your daughter have long hair, wear it up so that the sweat on your neck can better evaporate to keep you all cool.