The kids are out of school, but the mercury is rising. It can be challenging to find indoor activities to keep families entertained when it’s warm outside—especially when you’re all jonesing for a little Vitamin D. Even if your outdoor activities involve water play, it’s important to take precautions to ensure you and your kids don’t overheat.
How hot is too hot?
There’s no official red-flag temperature for when it’s too hot to play outside because both heat and humidity impact how much your body needs to work to cool itself. Some experts caution against playing outdoors when the heat index reaches 90 degrees, but native Arizonans call that spring weather. Use your best judgement and watch the activity level to ensure you or your kids don’t overheat. As much as possible, seek shade, wear hats and dress in light colors and lightweight fabrics. Limit outdoor activity between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun is at its peak. And if you start to feel too warm, go indoors where it’s air conditioned.
There’s more to sunscreen than just applying it
In order to be effective, a sunscreen must contain an SPF of 15 or higher. SPF blocks only one type of cancer-causing ray, ultraviolet B (UVB). Look for a multi-spectrum sunscreen to keep kids safe from both UVA and UVB rays. Use sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and remember to apply more every 3-4 hours and/or after water play.
Kids aren’t drinking enough water
The majority of American kids are dehydrated. Children ages 4 to 8 should drink 2 quarts a day. And as kids get bigger, so should their water intake! Extra ounces should also be added for extreme heat, humidity and activity—so basically anytime they’re active in May through September in Arizona. PRO TIP: Water-based foods like watermelon count towards kids’ daily intake and are tooth-friendly. However, water is best.
Fun is important, but safety should always come first!