Young kids need to stay cool, active despite the heat

Young kids need to stay cool, active despite the heat

Record temperatures and heat advisories are a large part of Arizona summers. While we should all stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., young, healthy minds and bodies need the stimulation of movement and play!

Use the following tips to keep kids under 5 safe - and entertained - during the dog days of summer:

Bring The Play Inside

• Read stories, then let kids dress up and create their own tales. Many libraries offer story times, as well.

• Keep a list of activities you can suggest if kids become restless, like board games, craft projects, finger-painting and playing musical instruments.

• Museums and other attractions often offer special hours - and discounts - for families during the summer.

• Get social - trade play dates with other parents so you can all get things done while kids play inside together. Also, use social media to steal shamelessly from other parents' ideas for activities - from building a furniture obstacle course to whipping up cookie cutter snacks.

Keep Kids Cool Outside

• Remind kids to drink something every 30 minutes or so. Water is best, but water-dense foods like fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, beans, and pasta are good, too.

• Keep infants under 6 months out of the sun; for kids over 6 months, keep them inside or shaded between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

• Use an SPF 15+ sunscreen on kids 30 minutes before sun exposure; re-apply often.

• Dress kids in lightweight cotton clothing that covers their arms and legs, plus sunglasses and hats!

Water Play and Safety

• Keep kids within arm's reach, and don't assume anyone else is watching them. Use caution around lakes, wading pools or anywhere water is present.

• Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle.

• Always make sure all children have left the car when you reach your destination.

Please use the information above to keep young kids cool and happy over the summer, so they can start school in the fall healthy and ready to succeed!

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