Safe summer fun for kids

Children are excited about the summer holidays and look forward to them eagerly. Not only do they get to spend more time with family, but it also offers them the chance to build experiences and get some fun learning done too. However, in order for children to make the most out of their summer, parents need to pay attention to their health. Below are simple and useful tips to ensure that your children will be in the best of health through the summer months.

Maintain a regular sleep cycle

During the summer months, children tend to lose track of their sleep routines. Since school is out, most parents are okay to let their children stay up past their bed time every now and then; however, maintaining a sleep cycle is more important than you think. The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight.

Sleep is the primary activity of the brain, and consists of 4 stages:

  • N1 is when you initially fall asleep, and is a stage of NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement). This is a brief stage of light sleep that lasts about 10 minutes or less.
  • N2 or the second stage of NREM is the stage when the eyes stop moving and the muscles relax.
  • N3 follows N2 very closely. This stage is also called ‘Deep sleep’ or ‘slow wave sleep’ as the brain waves slowdown in this stage.
  • R stage is the final stage of sleep, where one enters REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. In this stage the brain waves move in a faster pattern and the eyes flicker while being closed.

SPF- Sun Protected Fun

Summer is the season for beach visits, pool parties, water parks and playgrounds. During these months, kids prefer to spend their time outside running around in the sun. It is important for children to be exposed to Vitamin D so that their bones can absorb more calcium, however, too much sun exposure can be dangerous; especially in the UAE, where temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees in the summer months.

Most kids get a large percentage of their lifetime’s sun exposure before the age of 18, so it is important for parents to teach them how to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun.

  • UVA rays cause skin ageing and wrinkling and contribute to skin cancer, such as melanoma. These rays make up the majority of our sun exposure.
  • UVB rays are also dangerous, causing sunburns, cataracts and they can also affect the immune system. They also contribute to skin cancer. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is thought to be associated with severe UVB sunburns that occur before the age of 20.
  • UVC rays are the most dangerous, but fortunately, these rays are blocked by the ozone layer and do not reach the earth.

Indoor activities

The UAE, being an extremely hot country, offers a whole range of indoor activities for children. From indoor playgrounds and indoor theme parks, to indoor sports and pools. Children do not need to spend all their time in the hot sun in order to be entertained. They can take advantage of the varied choice of summer camps readily available in the region, provide a unique opportunity for kids, as it not only keeps them busy but also encourages learning and team activities. It also affords them with an outlet for physical activity.

So go ahead and indulge your kids with some summer fun and stay summer safe.


With thanks to Dr.Pratibha Vinod, Specialist Pediatrician, iCARE Clinics.

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