Playing outdoors is beneficial for children, and for good reasons. Indeed, kids who spend time outdoors improve their motor skills while lowing their obesity and myopia risks. Moreover, they are more exposed to the sun, which boosts vitamin D production. Outdoor play reduces depression and stress and encourages kids to adopt positive behaviour. Despite these benefits, your child is still exposed to certain risks that can dampen the experience and jeopardise their safety. Here are a few of such risks and how you can handle them.
- Intense heat
As spring approaches, the weather will become warmer, making it ideal for kids to spend time outdoors. However, prolonged exposure to intense heat can be detrimental, as they risk developing heatstroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion. Heatstroke is particularly life-threatening, as it can quickly end lives if not treated promptly. Symptoms include a high fever of over 40.5° C and hot, flushed skin. It can also trigger shock, confusion and coma.
On the other hand, heat exhaustion is characterised by intense sweating, pale skin, fainting, nausea, and weakness. Heat cramps cause spasms and tightness in areas like the calves or hands.
Fortunately, you can prevent these by encouraging your kids to drink water frequently. Remember to keep water bottles in your bag each time you step outdoors. This way, you won’t run out of water for your little ones. Alternatively, avoid dressing them in heavy clothes; select lighter, breathable options to allow air to cool their bodies. You can also get them to take their baths after getting inside, so keep this in mind.
- Insect bites
Admittedly, the warmer seasons are more conducive for insects. This means that your kids may be at risk of being bitten by these creatures. While some insects don’t pose significant threats to their health, the same can’t be said for others. For instance, wasps can land a nasty sting that causes swelling and itching. Similarly, honey bees can leave their barbed sting on your kid’s skin. And this can cause an infection. Other insects to be wary of include ticks, flower bugs, mosquitoes, gnats, ants, horseflies, and so on. Also, most insect bites can cause an allergic reaction, so keep this in mind.
Protecting your kids from insect bites can be easy with the right tips. Experts recommend using insect repellent to ward off these pesky creatures. However, ensure that the repellent is suitable for your child’s skin. You can also avoid dressing them in bright colours like pink, orange and red. Scented lotions and perfumes should also be avoided, as insects can mistake your child for a flower or tasty treat. And if your child is bitten and develops allergic reactions, visit an allergy clinic as soon as possible.
While the sun is a good source of vitamin D, prolonged exposure can give your kids sunburn. In addition to sore skin, they risk developing a fever, headaches, and general malaise. Therefore, protecting your kids’ skin becomes essential. As a tip, leverage sunscreen with an SPF of 15 and above to ensure protection from the sun. You can also encourage them to stay in shaded areas when the sun becomes too hot.