Summertime is no joke when it comes to keeping healthy and hydrated. We all want our kids to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Here are a few skin safety and cool hydration tips as they play on swing sets.
Kids’ Skin Safety for a Full Day of Play on Swing Sets
The sun can present a major safety hazard during play on swing sets. That is why sunscreen is a must in the summer. Use sunscreen on exposed skin with at least SPF 30 and UVA and UVB protection. Apply before leaving the house and make sure you get faces, tops of hands, noses, and tops of feet. Dang, I always forget the tops of the feet! Reapply after excessive activity and swimming.
Timing of sun exposure matters! Midday sun is the most harmful to skin. Make sure you seek shade if you are out in between 10-4. Indoor activities are better during those hours.
Cover up. Wearing protective clothing is great to keep your skin from too much skin exposure. Rash guards are a popular new way to keep children from too much sun exposure while swimming. Wear light colored and comfortable clothing to help keep your child cool.
Accessories like sunglasses and a hat can keep faces and eyes from too much sun exposure. UV ray exposure can lead to cataracts later in life. Look for sunglasses that have UVA and UVB protection.
Use sunscreen at home. The most sun damage occurs during incidental play, not just at the beach. People often forget the sunscreen when kids are playing around on wooden swing sets. Don’t forget to apply if they are outside for the afternoon!
Eat a healthy diet. New research is showing that your diet can aid in sun protection. Eating high doses of lycopene (found in tomatoes); Vitamin D (found in many foods and also from healthy sun exposure); and saturated fats (coconut oil) can aid in skin protection from the sun.
Swing Set Safety Tip – Most Important
Aside from skin protection, staying hydrated in the summer months. Dehydration occurs when the intake of fluids is less than the output of sweat and other bodily fluids. We suggest always having a water bottle handy when playing on swing sets.
Drinking plenty of water can help you stay hydrated. Be sure and take a water/fluid break during peak day time play hours.
Drinking other fluids can help keep you hydrated. Stay away from caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee. Drink juice, milk, non-dairy milks, herbal teas and sports drinks if water isn’t your bag.
Drink water, not pop! Water is the best fluid to drink. Soda may even cause dehydration.
Recognize the Signs of Dehydration
It’s important to recognize the signs of dehydration.
Dehydration can negatively impact a person’s mood, energy level and clarity of thought.
Symptoms of dehydration include, but are not limited to:
- Increased thirst
- Inability to sweat
- Decreased urine output and change in urine color
Swing Sets are Meant to Be Enjoyed All Summer Long!
It’s not hard to keep your skin healthy and stay hydrated during the summer months. Prevention and proactive actions are the key to staying sunburn free and hydrated all summer long during play on swing sets.