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Hot! Hot! Hot!

As you would know, the temperatures have continued to be quite warm this year. While we all ensure the children have sunscreen on and wear hats, we can easily overlook that the surfaces of outdoor equipment and mats become very hot when left in the sun. The heat can damage the equipment but, of greater importance, is the damage hot surfaces can cause to children's sensitive skin, so we need to take extra care.

We all know that metal equipment or equipment with metal components can heat up, but other items can become very hot to touch (eg. hard toys, some plastic equipment, gym mats, some soft fall materials, synthetic grass). Even if these equipments are under a wide shade sail, the equipment and soft fall can be sufficiently hot for the children to say "Oh oh" when they touch it.

It is important to consider each piece of equipment in any outdoor play area and if it has the potential to become hot or if you notice that children avoid it during hot weather, take steps to ensure the children's safety. These steps might include: testing the surface temperature of equipment before letting children use it, moving equipment out of the sun when not in use and if possible, setting equipment up in the shade.

Hydrated children are healthy children

During hot weather, it is necessary to offer water to children at regular intervals.

Children can become very focused on their play and forget to drink until well after their bodies have needed to be hydrated.

Little bodies need water to feel their best and function properly.

Water helps transport nutrients through the body, maintained blood volume, regulates body temperature, removes waste products and prevent irritable, overheated, thirsty children.

It is important to remind children throughout the day to drink water because this lays the foundations for a healthy lifestyle of drinking water frequently. Keep water bottles free of dust and insects by storing them in a plastic container with a lid that children can operate. However, it is also worth remembering that, if not kept refridgerated, water in containers or bottles can be unpleasant to drink.

Reference - Childcare by design