Tips for Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy in Summer Heat

July 20, 2023

Here are some practical tips to keep kids healthy during summer.

Nothing hits quite like heading out to play on a hot summer day. As a kid, you couldn’t wait to spend all your waking hours hanging out with friends and making mischief outside. Now you’re the responsible dad and see hidden dangers everywhere you turn, like sunburn, melanoma, heat stroke, eye issues, and dehydration. Instead of locking everyone inside out of fear, breathe easier and relax this season with these simple tips to keep your kids safe and healthy in the summer heat.

Tips for Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy in Summer Heat
Photo by Samy

Tips for Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy in Summer Heat

    1. Wear Sunglasses and a Hat

    Kids' eyes and the surrounding skin are more sensitive to UV rays than adults are. Protect them with sunglasses and a hat when they’ll be outside for extended periods. Many children’s glasses are toys and won’t properly shield their eyes from harmful light, so you must check for the UV label.

    A hat is an added layer of protection for their eyes, face, and head. When your kids aren’t wearing a hat, spray their part and hairline with sunscreen instead.

    2. Apply Sunscreen Early and Often

    Sunscreen is essential for keeping your kids safe and healthy in the summer. However, the type you choose will determine how long before sun exposure you need to apply it. 

    It can be challenging to wrangle small children before heading outside, but they must wait at least 15 minutes if they’re using chemical sunscreen. Mineral sunscreen is harder to rub in, but it starts working immediately. You know your kids and what will work best for their needs.

    While out in the sun, you must ensure they reapply protection every three hours or more often if they’re sweating a lot or playing in the water.

    3. Stay Inside at Midday

    The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the hottest during the summer and coincide with the highest levels of dangerous UV light. Call the kids in for a rest and some water during this time. They can use the break to rehydrate and gain their energy back. Cooling off is essential for preventing complications like eczema flare-ups and heat stroke.

    4. Seek Shade Outside

    It's impossible to avoid being outside at midday all summer, so plan for shade when you must be outdoors. You can use umbrellas or a small tent to get out of the sun at the beach. Take your children to a park with plenty of trees for added protection. Paying attention to this little detail will keep your kids’ sensitive skin safer from the sun and the searing heat.

    5. Wear Loose Fitting Light Materials

    When you send your kids to play outside, check over what they’re wearing first. Look for light colors that will reflect the sun and keep them cooler. Loose-fitting clothing will let the breeze reach their skin and help them avoid overheating. Athletic wear is designed to wick away moisture and stay breathable, so it’s another great option for your kids in the summer heat.

    6. Never Leave Them in the Car

    You likely know this piece of summer safety advice, but it bears repeating — never leave your kids alone in the car. Letting them stay with a tablet or toy while you run in for milk uninhibited is tempting, but it could be a fatal mistake. The car interior can heat up 20 degrees in just 10 minutes on a hot day.

    7. Check for Ticks

    For such a little bug, ticks are a big problem in the summer. Talk to your children about the dangers of ticks and show them what to look for. Knowledge and the proper precautions will help keep them safe from these outdoor nuisances. 

    Wearing light-colored garments will make it easier to spot ticks, and have your kids cover their bodies with long clothing to prevent bites if they’re playing in the woods. Make it a habit to check each other for ticks every time you return home.

    8. Apply Bug Repellent

    Another good way to avoid getting ticks is to apply bug spray whenever you and the kids play outside. Get one effective on a broad array of bugs like ticks and mosquitos. Their bites are annoying, and these pests sometimes carry diseases, so you want to avoid them if possible.

    9. Stay Hydrated

    Your kids sweat a lot to keep cool in the summer heat and humidity. The added loss of liquids can dehydrate them quickly, so keeping them drinking all day is essential. Send them out with a water bottle and encourage them to refill it often. You can also add water-rich foods to their summer diet. For example, watermelon is 91% water and will help keep your children hydrated on a sweltering day.

    Set a Good Example for Summer Safety

    The best thing you can do to keep your kids safe and healthy this summer is to set a good example. You’re their role model, and they’ll copy everything you do — even when you think they aren’t watching or noticing. Apply sunscreen and bug spray, seek shade on a hot day, drink plenty of water, and wear sunglasses. Your kids will do the same so they can be like you, and you’ll all have a much happier, safer summer.

    Author Bio

    Jack Shaw is the senior lifestyle writer at with special interest in covering concerns of health, family, and relationships. You’ll often find him exploring nature or playing with his dog in his free time.

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