We’re officially in the dog days of summer and in many parts of the country, the days are quite warm and the sun is at it’s highest intensity. As a childcare center, your main goal is to keep children safe all day long, which means finding practical ways to beat the heat.
Keeping children inside all day long is no fun for them or for your teachers so it’s important to come up with creative ways to still keep your kids active while avoiding heat exhaustion and sunburn. Here are some practical ways to enjoy the outdoors this summer safely.
- Move outdoor time to the morning. Getting children outside early in the day means the sun is not yet at its peak so you don’t have to worry as much about sunburn. It also means the temperature is more likely to be tolerable.
- Bring out the water tables and squirt guns. Keeping children cool with water activities can allow them to bask in summer and get in their daily activity time while staying cool. Just be sure you’ve planned ahead with parents so that you have appropriate clothes for getting wet.
- Have parents dress their children in UV protecting attire. Be sure to keep parents in the loop about the outdoor activities you have planned so that they can provide UV protecting attire and sunglasses for the days when their children will be outside a great deal. An easy way to stay in touch with parents is through the chat functionality in iCare Software so you don’t have to keep contact sheets on you at all times. It’s all stored within the cloud-based system.
- Know the signs of heat exhaustion. Be sure your entire staff knows how to spot a child suffering from symptoms of heat-related illness so that you can be responsive during these warm summer days. Some key symptoms to look out for are nausea, confusion, fast pulse, muscle cramps, tiredness, headache and heavy sweating. Children exhibiting these symptoms should be taken inside right away and attended to.
- Ensure proper hydration. Monitoring how much each child is drinking throughout the day can be a challenge, but it’s one that’s very important this time of year. Be sure you’re regularly offering water to the children at your childcare center. Especially at snack time and meals be sure to pay attention to how much a child drinks as this can be an opportune time to get them to hydrate.
- Take advantage of shade when you can. Shade helps protect from the UV rays of the sun and keeps children cooler than direct sunlight. If you have a playset, it might be worth looking into having a shade or canopy added to it so that it’s more usable this time of year.
It’s a great time of year to get outdoors so don’t let the heat and sun keep you from doing so. Plan ahead and watch especially close during these hot summer months to ensure outdoor play is safe.