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Keeping kids cool

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Keeping your children cool in the middle of the hottest summer on record can be hard without confining them to a room with air conditioning. Fortunately, there are ways to keep kids cool while they play outside. Try these tips.

Put the kids in water. Go swimming in a pool or lake, play in a sprinkler, visit a splash park, or just have a water fight. Water is a great way to keep cool. It is critical, however, for kids to wear sunscreen if they are going to play in the water. Because water reflects the sun’s rays, kids can get sunburned much faster than they would otherwise.

Dress in more clothes, not less. Many people’s first instinct when the temperature rises is to put on as little clothing as possible, but people who live in the desert have learned that the secret to staying cool is wear more clothing. Light layers of natural fibers, such as cotton will absorb sweat and allow it to do its primary job, which is transferring heat away from the body. More clothes will also help protect the skin from getting burned. If possible, add a hat. Hats will keep the sun’s rays off of kids’ heads.

Seek out shade. The problem with playing sports outdoors in the summer is that the fields are not exactly covered in trees. In between innings or quarters, have the kids sit under a tree or in a dugout.

Avoid going out during the hottest part of the day. Depending on what part of the time zone you live in, this time is usually between noon and four o’clock. Plan on doing inside activities during this time.

Drink water frequently. Juice and sports drinks will help, but nothing beats water for keeping kids hydrated and cooled down. If you’re monitoring a large group of kids, make sure that everyone gets a drink at least once every hour (more frequently if the kids are really active). If any child turns pale, has clammy skin, or starts vomiting, get him or her inside immediately.

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