Dog Days

Summer is officially upon us! The heat in the south may have begun in May, but it really soars from mid-June through mid-September.

How do you enjoy the dog days of summer with little ones? We did it with short periods outside and regular application of sunscreen until we adjusted to the change in temperature and our skin adjusted to the ample sunshine. Then, it is the outdoors for us throughout much of the summer. Aside from the pool, very early morning park visits, water toys in backyards, skip-n-slides, and sidewalk chalk at dawn and dusk, there are water parks and state parks with many amenities.

Babies need sunlight too, just in limited amount and with protection. Small children are more difficult to cover with sunscreen and clothing, so frequent breaks indoors for snacks, television, nap, or indoor toys help. It took me years to learn that sunscreen protects more effectively when applied 30 minutes BEFORE going outside. It has time to soak in before being washed off by perspiration and water or wiped off by clothing or towels. Cover a floor area with a plastic tablecloth, sunscreen and place your child(ren) on it, then put toys or a snack in front of them while the kids watch a 30 min show and you get a chance to take care of yourself too! I also used the “head shoulders knees and toes” song and a Wiggles song she liked to distract our daughter long enough for the sunscreen to dry on her prior to leaving when she was very young and not into television. Finally, don’t forget hydration. Little ones play so hard they ignore thirst cues and can easily become dehydrated. Set an alarm on your phone if you need to, to remind yourself and them to take a drink break!

There are so many options for indoor fun during these hot days too, but those are for another day!

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