*Our friends at momstown.ca recently posted this blog by our own water safety expert, Shannon Scully-Pratt. We wanted to share this important information with you on how to keep kids cool this summer.

We’ve had a series of heat waves across the country this summer. Some of us like the heat but one thing’s for sure, nobody likes that sticky, uncomfortable feeling, especially kids. The heat can lead to some crankiness, but heat stroke and dehydration can be downright dangerous.

As a mom, I’m always on the lookout for signs my little one isn’t coping well with the heat. It’s not always what you think. Some of the indicators include nausea, heat cramps, irritability, headaches and exhaustion. Kids can get overheated more quickly than adults and aren’t able to express it so I’m particularly mindful of active toddlers.

The Canadian Red Cross covers the treatment of heat related illness in its first aid training. As any trained first aider will tell you, it’s important to call 911 for help in a medical emergency, but you can alleviate symptoms by bringing the child to a cooler location, removing extra layers of clothing, cooling the body and giving sips of water.

Here are my top 5 tips to keep kids cool in the summer:

1.    Fun in the shade: Whether it’s setting up a play area under a large tree or a big beach umbrella, it’s always best to pick a shady spot to play.

2.    Cool treats: Watermelons, frozen fruits, ice cubes in fun shapes and everyone’s favourite, ice cream, are all great ways to refresh.

3.    Hydration: Make sure everyone is drinking fluids regularly. Foods can also help replenish fluids so take the time to grab the juiciest fruits and veggies to stay hydrated.

4.    After hours: When it’s scorching outside, take the kids out to the park in the early part of the day or in the evening when the temperature drops. Daytime activities can include indoor visits to air conditioned locations, from malls and movie theatres to your local library.

5.    Make a splash: Head to the local splash pad, pool, beach or lake to cool off. Safety first though! Active supervision by an adult and lifejackets are the key to keeping kids safe in the water.

*Click here for more tips on how to beat the heat and stay safe.

momstown and the Red Cross have a special partnership - we are committed to giving back through donations that help Canadian families, and they provide momstown members with workshops and training that help us be safer, smarter parents!