Summer is a season of sunshine, outdoor adventures, and plenty of playtime for children. For parents and caregivers, it's important to ensure that children stay healthy and safe during this time while enjoying all the fun that summer has to offer. "As a pediatrician, my top priority is the health and well-being of children," says Marjan A. Linnell, MD, Pediatrics at ARC Kyle Plum Creek. "With the arrival of summer, it's crucial to be mindful of the unique health challenges this season brings."
Here are some summertime tips to help parents ensure their children's safety and wellness during these hot months.
1. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water
One of the most important things to remember during the summer is to keep your child hydrated. With the increase in temperature, children are more prone to dehydration. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during outdoor activities. Remember that water is the best option for hydration, and sugary drinks should be limited or avoided altogether.
2. Promote healthy eating habits
Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for your child's overall health and well-being. Encourage your child to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Summer is a great time to introduce fresh and seasonal produce into their diet. "If you are facing challenges in accessing nutritious meals, your ARC Pediatrician can help you to reach out to local organizations and programs that provide assistance," says Dr. Linnell.
3. Keep your child's meal schedule consistent
While summer brings a break from the usual school routine, it's still important to maintain a consistent meal schedule for your child. Aim for regular meal and snack times to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients throughout the day. Consistency can also help prevent excessive snacking or reliance on unhealthy foods.
4. Promote an active lifestyle
Encourage your child to engage in physical activities and maintain an active lifestyle during the summer. Limit screen time and instead encourage them to participate in outdoor games, sports, or other physical activities they enjoy. Regular exercise promotes physical fitness and supports mental well-being and social interaction.
5. Stay safe outdoors
Outdoor activities come with their fair share of risks, so taking precautions is important to keep your child safe.
- Ensure they wear appropriate protective gear, such as helmets, when riding bikes or skateboards.
- Apply sunscreen generously to protect their skin from harmful UV rays.
- Teach them to avoid dangerous areas and encourage them to play in safe environments.
- Additionally, be prepared for bug bites and have insect repellent on hand to protect against mosquitoes and ticks.
6. Avoid excess time outdoors
While it's important for children to enjoy the outdoors, excessive heat and sun exposure can be harmful. Be mindful of the temperature and limit outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day. Seek shade and plan outdoor activities for the cooler mornings or evenings. Dress your child in loose, lightweight clothing and provide them with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for added sun protection.
"Remember, as parents, we play a vital role in safeguarding our children's health during the summer," says Dr. Linnell. "By following these tips and prioritizing their well-being, we can create a safe and enjoyable environment for them to thrive. Let's make this summer a memorable and healthy one for our children!"
Make an appointment with an ARC Pediatrician today
For your convenience, ARC Pediatrics offers many types of appointments at different times of the day or night to fit your needs and schedule.
- Regular appointments during weekday clinic hours
- Same-day appointments with an ARC pediatrician for urgent concerns
- Evening and weekend appointments at ARC After Hours Clinics
- Telemedicine appointments for those times you cannot leave your home
- 24/7 phone nurse to help with middle-of-the-night worries
In the Central Texas area, there are 22 ARC Clinic locations that offer pediatrics. Visit ARC Pediatrics to view all locations and providers and schedule your next appointment.