For most kids summer means going to camp or the family cottage, visits to the beach or city pool, picnics, bike rides and all kinds of outdoor fun. To make sure the outdoor fun is safe parents need to be aware of some basic precautions and share them with their children.
You've heard it before but:
- Don't forget the sunscreen. It should be SPF 30 or higher and should be a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. If you can, avoid the sun when it is hottest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and wear a hat and long sleeves. A large umbrella or screen tent provides shade for quiet activities or you can always seek out a nice big tree. Remember that some medications increase sun sensitivity. Ask your doctor if you or your children are taking medication that may increase your chance of sunburn.
- Provide plenty of liquids for your kids. If they are going to day camp or to the beach with friends, send a full water bottle along. Fill it and freeze it the night before and they will have cold water to drink later. In hot, sunny weather drink even if you don't feel thirsty.
- Make time to rest. Most of us are more active in the summer when it's nice out and the long evenings allow for outside games and bike rides. Resting helps children to recover from their exertions and be ready for more fun.
- Apply insect repellant or send it with your kids especially if they are going to be in the woods or in grassy fields where ticks can be a problem.
At Wisconsin Youth Company summer camps we provide sunscreen and insect repellent, or campers can bring their own. Frequent water and lemonade breaks are built into the schedule. Younger children have a "Siesta" every day where they can nap, listen to a story, or do quiet activities to help them recharge for the rest of the day's fun.
Summer is a carefree time for children and adults alike. Without school and homework responsibilities the day can open up to new possibilities. Even if you have to put in a full day at work, summer seems to draw you outdoors to spend time with your kids. Putter in the garden, go for a sunset walk, ride a bike, or lay in the yard and stargaze. When your children are old enough to have summer memories, these will be the times they remember, the ones they spent with you.
Visit the Wisconsin Youth Company website to check out our summer day camps, travel camps and immersion camps for school age children and summer courses for middle school youth.
This story is written and presented by Wisconsin Youth Company, which provides quality before- and after-school care, summer day-camp and travel camp experiences and family travel adventures. WYC exists so that the children of Wisconsin benefit from communities that nurture them at a sustainable cost.