By Registration Supervisor Kelly Maloney
Summer is here! For many that means playing outside and keeping children occupied for an extended day. Here are some tips for staying safe this summer, and some activities to have some fun.
Summer safety is a very important topic. Summer means hotter temperatures outside and an elevated risk of summer related illnesses. Try and plan your outside activities for times of the day when the sun is not at peak hours. The sun’s peak hours are generally 11am to 4pm. The chart on the next page from the New York State Department of Health has symptoms to look out for in children and adults for illness’ that may arise while in the heat.
When that heat wave inevitably hits keep a few things in mind:
1. Take regular breaks from physical activity
2. Wear sunscreen and a ventilated hat (e.g. straw, or mesh) when in the sun, even if it’s cloudy.
3. Drink plenty of fluids but avoid caffeine and sugary drinks.
4. Never leave children, pets or those with special needs in a parked car even briefly. Temperatures can become dangerous within a few minutes.
In addition to keeping children safe from the sun, remember general outside rules as well. If children are playing on playground equipment, ensure the ground coverings are in accordance to the CPSC guidelines. Position yourself and if possible, staff members around the playground equipment. Staff should be placed near stairs, slides and monkey bars. Inspect the playground equipment and area around it daily to make sure it is safe for use.
Summer is a great time to try out some new activities with the children in your care. Always remember if you are having fun, the children are having fun too. Below are some activities to try out this summer.
1. Go on a picnic- even in the backyard! Switching up where children eat their meals makes for a fun activity.
2. Go on a scavenger hunt- you can assign colors to the children and see who can find an item of their color first. You can also do a nature scavenger hunt and focus on learning about nature items.
3. Make a bird feeder- the children and you can make a bird feeder together and then spend the summer re-filling the food and seeing the various birds that come to eat out of it.
4. Make art on the lawn- Take an old bed sheet, lay it out on the lawn and let the children paint a picture on it.
5. Make apple nachos- Cut apples and have the children fan apples around a plate. Once in place heat up caramel sauce and drizzle on top of the apples. The children can then take additional toppings and sprinkle them on top of the apples and caramel. Ideas of additional toppings could include, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, crushed graham crackers, and sprinkles.