Summer is here—dust off your grill, haul out those coolers, and brace yourself for getting into your swimsuit! It’s time for some relaxation and fun in the sun.
Summertime with the family can be one of the best times of the year, but as moms we know that there’s often added stress when kids are involved. The suffocating summer heat can melt our brains a little—making us forget to take the necessary health precautions to fully enjoy the summer outdoors.
Keep these 6 simple tips in mind to help you get the most out of your summer excursions while keeping the whole family healthy!
1. Stay Hydrated
During the summer, our bodies lose more water than normal through sweat. While this keeps us cool, it’s also very dehydrating.
To stay well hydrated, we should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day. If your kids are younger, they may need to drink less—check out this handy table to make sure they’re hitting their daily water targets!
Kids aren’t always the biggest fans of drinking water when there are tasty, sugar-filled alternatives like soda and lemonade. Try jazzing up their water by throwing in some fruit slices—or freeze some home-made popsicles with low sugar content. Low sugar and lots of water will keep them healthy and you sane!
2. Keep Sunscreen on Hand at ALL Times
During the summer, nearly all your activities will be outdoors in that lovely sunshine. Even if you religiously apply sunscreen before heading outside, do you remember to reapply regularly? That’s the key to avoiding sunburns!
The sooner you teach your kids healthy sun habits, the better. Remember that each time our skin tans or burns, it gets damaged. That’s why “Sunscreen plenty and often” is the motto at our house!
You’ll get the best protection from sunscreen SPF 30 or higher.
3. Stay Active
Especially if you’ve spent the winter cooped up indoors, summer is a great time to get active again! Enjoy it—even if your “summer body” isn’t what you’d like it to be.
Swimming, beach volleyball, outdoor games, and hiking are all great ways to ensure that you and your family get exercise while having fun outdoors. Staying fit is essential for all ages and comes with a multitude of health benefits.
4. Practice Water Safety
Speaking of swimming, water safety can be a lifesaver—literally! According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the main cause of injury or death among children ages 1-4.
Don’t let that scare you away from the water, though! Use this summer to teach your kids water safety. Take them to the local pool to brush up on their swimming skills, or enroll them in swim lessons at a nearby rec center. And why not practice your own swimming skills while you’re at it?
Have a pool at home? Install a fence around it for safety and always supervise children around the water!
5. Prevent Bug Bites
Along with the heat come all sorts of insects—and with them, diseases. Protect your family and keep them itch-free with a non-toxic insect repellant, especially if you’ll be outdoors for an extended period. Keeping some calamine lotion in the car is also handy in case you do run into any mosquitos.
Summer is also a great time to ensure that your home is insect-free. Double check your family—especially the furry members of the group—for fleas and ticks after spending time outdoors, and use an appropriate flea and tick prevention product on your pets to keep the bugs off.
6. Practice Food Safety
In the warm summer months, food tends to go bad quickly. Store any leftovers in the freezer—don’t leave them out overnight—in order to prevent food poisoning.
If you’re packing food for a picnic or fun day at the lake, make sure to throw plenty of ice packs in the cooler to keep the food fresh. Don’t let your snacks sit out in the sun while you play—they could easily spoil or attract ants.
Be Prepared So You Can Focus on the Fun!
Summertime is all about fun in the sun with your family. Keep these tips in mind to be prepared for summer excursions, and you’ll set the whole family up for a great time!