Summer is officially here and that means longer and hotter days! While Jamaica is blessed with year-round beautiful weather with lots of sunshine and blue skies, our summers are typically very hot. If you live in urban areas away from the coast like Kingston, parts of Portmore and Spanish Town, then you know the temperatures we are dealing with during the summer months. Keeping yourself and your children cool this summer will be a challenge, but don’t fear! Here are a few tips to help!
Let your children wear light and loose-fitting clothes. Cotton and linen are two great fabrics for summer as they are considered breathable because they allow air to circulate and heat to leave the body. As little children are very active, natural fabrics like cotton and linen can soak up sweat and help children to stay cool.
Keep your children hydrated by providing them with lots of water to drink. If your children drink juices, please ensure you follow the nutritional guidelines for sugar intake.
Beaches and Rivers
Don’t we all love a day at the beach? Now that beaches and rivers have reopened, taking your little ones for a day at the beach or river is always a great way to beat the heat. A day at the beach or river is a longstanding Jamaican family tradition and taking a dip in the cool waters during a hot day is one of the best ways to spend a summer’s day. Jamaica is blessed with lots of beautiful rivers and beaches which are only a few minutes’ walk or a short drive away no matter where in the country you are. If you have the opportunity to take a beach trip this summer, please ensure that you do not leave your children unattended in or near water and that you follow all the COVID protocols and guidelines set out by the Government.
Time for Nature
While it might seem counter-productive to spend a lot of time outdoors during the summer months, it can be a good way to beat the heat. If like many Jamaican families you have a backyard with trees and shaded area, spending time in the shade on a warm summer’s day is a great way to cool down and enjoy nature. Young children are curious about the world around them, taking them outdoors to enjoy the summer breeze can also be an opportunity to teach them about nature. While you are taking in the cool breeze in your backyard, why not take the time to teach your children about the insects that live in your garden, the various plants spotted around the place and the different types of fruit trees that grow in your backyard.
With summer here and all the fun that comes with it, parents should consider sun protection tips that will protect their little ones from some of the damaging effects of the sun. Here are a few:
- Try to avoid being outdoors while the sun is at its hottest during the day, this is generally considered to be between 10 am and 4 pm
- While outdoors, consider making your children wear long-sleeve clothing and brimmed hats to protect their skin from the sun
- If you use or plan to use sun protectants, check with your child’s paediatrician for guidance on the best options and always read the labels and follow the directions for application of such products
Summer is here, so enjoy it and stay cool!