Healthy in the Summer

Healthy in the Summer

For a healthy summer with growing children, it is important to remember, your child grows at an astonishing rate. Rapid changes mean they require a constant supply of good nutrients and regular movement, in order for healthy growth and development. As summer is a great time for children to enjoy the warm weather and an Australian summer brings with it plenty of outdoor play. With the sun, sand and blue skies comes the timely reminder to stay alert and help keep kids safe in the great outdoors and around devices that can cause harm and injuries.

To prevent sunburn, sunscreen should be applied to children over six months of age when outdoors, and reapplied every two hours or after swimming or sweating. Children should wear sun protective gear, including lightweight clothing and broad brimmed sun hats. Umbrellas can be used for shade. On hot days, make sure you offer your child frequent drinks to avoid dehydration. Watch babies and young children carefully during hot weather. They can quickly lose body fluids through perspiring, which can lead to dehydration. They need to drink regularly, wear light clothing and be kept cool.

Young children can easily become dehydrated during periods of hot weather due to sweating, and not drinking enough water.

Three things that are critical for your child's health:

Sleep: Most children need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep each night

Let them sleep in the coolest room in the house.
Make sure air can circulate around them – for example, by removing any padding around the cot.
Hang wet towels over chairs or windows in their room to cool the air.

Nutrition: a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals will support children’s bodies as they grow
A diet focusing on the five food groups will ensure your child receives the nutritional intake necessary to support a growing, developing body. You should also refrain from giving your child foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar, and make water the drink of choice.

Exercise: important to maintain a healthy weight, but also plays a role in strengthening and developing growing bodies.
Some examples of summer activities for kids include riding bikes, playing in the playground, or swimming and water play.

Sun protection is for everyone. These tips are not just for your children, they're for you too!

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