9 Tips for Family Fun in the Summer Sun
Summer is here, and the only predictable thing about the Irish weather is that it’s going to be... unpredictable. That said, there will undoubtedly be a few sunny days over the coming months, and with many families spending time together outside, here are few ideas to help you and your children enjoy every moment of the good weather!
1. Make a day of it!
With a longer stretch in the summer evenings, being prepared in advance, and packing a picnic or a bag of snacks will make your trip to the beach or to the park even more enjoyable. Having a few pots of their favourite snacks, and sticks of fruit and veggies, may help to extend the trip outdoors, and is a lovely novelty for everyone in the family after staying indoors throughout the winter months. Make sure you pack a rug or a fleece blanket so that you can all gather around to enjoy some refreshment and a rest!
Or why not bring the dinner out into your own back garden and make a picnic? Have your child help lay out the blanket and choose where everyone will sit for their tea. These tasks will help your child become independent and more confident.
2. Keep them hydrated
Water is so important for children’s cognitive and physical development, and in the warm weather they will need plenty of it. Make sure to take along several bottles with good spill-prof lids so your beach bag doesn’t get soaked!
3. Grab the factor
These days, it almost goes without saying that it is vital to apply a high-quality, high-protection sunscreen to your children’s skin to protect them from the harsh rays of the sun. Easier said than done, we know, when dealing with a wriggling, giggling little tot, so try to apply the sunscreen before going outside. Water resistant lotions are always a good bet when heading to the beach or pool.
4. Hat’s on!
We’re all at risk of developing heatstroke if our heads are uncovered. Children are no different, particularly those with very fair or fine hair, and especially babies with no hair at all! A hat is vital in the sun, so find ones that don’t fall or blow off easily in the wind (elasticated straps or safe ties for babies can help with exploring hands) and teach your older children always to wear them.
5. Relax in the Shade
Find a tree that provides shade in the park or at the beach, so that your child has the chance to take a few moments to cool down if they have been in the sun for prolonged period of time.
6. Have emergency supplies
Many parents pack a mini first-aid kit in their car to deal with life’s little bumps and bruises, and for sunny days this should include infant paracetamol in case of headache and calamine lotion to calm mild cases of heat rash. If you are concerned your child may be suffering from heatstroke, seek immediate medical advice.
7. Travelling by car or train?
Plan around naptimes – If your baby or toddler has a routine nap time, try to take advantage by ideally scheduling your trip when they are likely to sleep. This can make the travel time easier and more comfortable for everyone. When you are travelling by car, occasional stopping to stretch the legs, trips to toilet and some fresh air can help break up the journey for both parents & children.
8. Beat the heat
A car can quickly heat up in the midday sun, especially if you have parked the car while on your beach adventure. Remember to roll down all the windows before entering the car allowing the inside temperature to drop. Check to make sure the plastic or metal buckles of your children’s car seats aren’t too hot to touch, or even wrap a blanket around the seat attachments to make sure your little one’s arms and legs don’t brush against a very hot seat belt.
9. Toy storage
Create a space like travel pouches that you can hang on the back of the front seats to store all the children’s travel friendly toys; these are handy not only for distraction but also for ease of access.
With all the above in mind, it can be daunting for new parents to prepare for trips in the hot weather, but it’s important to remember that a controlled amount of exposure to the sun is good for us, as it helps us absorb Vitamin D – essential for strong bones and many other health benefits.
Above all, enjoy the time together in the great summer weather and have fun!
This article was written by Giraffe Childcare for eumom.ie