Something happened in Toronto when school ended…someone flipped a switch and it became instant summer. I mean really. We had some pretty cool days in June. Suddenly it is hot, humid and sunny. I am not complaining. I love the summer. I love packing up the kids and heading outside for the day…9-5! I wrote a post about staying cool inside your house…now to tackle the great outdoors. It’s a little trickier, but with some planning it is possible to keep cool outside too.
Know your limits – plan accordingly
Check the weather the night before. If they are calling for a scorching, high humidex day decide if it really is the best day to spend on the beach. Maybe it’s a better day to spend in the cool ravine or the library. Being flexible is important. We walk everywhere, to avoid overheated walks it is wise to do your walking in the cooler morning – not at high noon.
Water is critical. I think we all know this one. We always have change in our pocket for an emergency freezie. Add some ice to your water bottles to keep them extra cold! Outdoor water spots like splash pads, wading pools and the beach are popular for families.
Shade, shade and more shade
We love our umbrellas. We may look strange – but carrying our umbrellas gives us the shade we need as we walk along the sidewalk. My daughter picked up an adorable parasol the last time we were in Chinatown…it cost about $2…worth every cent. Another item we never leave home without are our hats. Sun protection is pretty basic. Don’t forget to walk on the shady side of the street. It is amazing the difference between the sunny side and the shady side of the street.
You might not feel like eating – you’re hot – but you need to eat. Fruit will provide you with a sugar and water boost. Stick to small, light meals like salads and sandwiches. Skip the oven – use the BBQ – or don’t cook at all.
No sense being in a hurry. You are hot, your kids are hot…slow down. When I’m hot, my temper rises too. There is no point in having an unrealistic schedule.
Sunblock or Sun Tan Lotion?
This one warrants an entire post. For now, let me just say that we have been using Burt’s Bees “Chemical Free” sunscreen this summer. So far, so good. Yes, it goes on a little sticky and a little white…but it keeps us burn free. In fact we were just out all day on Sunday, in a pool, and none of us got a burn. That’s pretty impressive. The Environmental Working Group – Skin Deep ranking doesn’t like this sunblock’s perfume, and it’s technically not “chemical free.” However, it is a lot better than some of the options on the drug store shelf. As I have said before, the success of these types of products is very much up to the individual. This lotion seems to work for our family. What works for yours?
The important thing is to get outdoors in the summer. If you plan ahead and take the right precautions your family can have a memorable and fun time in the sun.