Outdoor play is an important part of your little one’s childhood. Junior needs to explore the world outside, so that he can connect with it as much as he’ll get to boost his brain in school. Besides, with 300+ parks and four nature reserves located all over the island, you’re never that far from a green lung where he can master emerging physical skills like running and jumping. Your kiddo will also see, hear, smell and touch many amazing things. However, fun under the sun has its risks, so pay attention to these suggestions!
1) Plan, plan, plan
Step out with your toddler without a plan of action and you’re just increasing your chances of freaking out should something go south. Decide where to go and what activities you want to do. Only then can you pack the essentials. Do also have a wet-weather plan in mind ― so, if it starts to pour, you’ll be able to make a beeline for the nearest shelter.
2) Dress for the occasion
Togging your tyke out in loose, breathable (preferably cotton) clothing will keep them cool in the searing heat. A cap will also shield their scalp from the fierce sun. Three-quarter length trousers can prevent knees from sustaining cuts and bruises.
3) Slather on sunblock
The sun’s ultraviolet rays may damage your tot’s eyes, immune system and delicate skin. So, make sure to protect it, especially if there’s a family history of skin cancer. The sunblock should:
* Have SPF protection of at least 30.
* Offer broad spectrum coverage against both UVA and UVB rays
* Include ingredients like titanium oxide and zinc oxide. These ingredients not only block out UVA and UVB rays, they are also less likely to cause a nasty skin reaction.
Even if the lotion is sweat-proof or water-proof, make sure to reapply the creams after one to two hours. Here are great options to consider.
Remember, taking your eyes off your toddler — even if it’s just for a split second — can cost him his life.
4) Get him geared up
If you’re going to the pool or the beach, make him use a float for safety’s sake. Do bear in mind that bubba can drown in as little as 5cm of water! Which means that you should accompany them in the water ― AT ALL TIMES.
5) Drink water regularly
Because he’s running about in high heat and humidity, make sure your mini-dynamo is well hydrated. The hotter it is, the more water your little one should be drinking. And if they are doing something intense, like running, then they’ll need even more fluids. Try setting reminders on your watch or phone to cue you all to wet the whistle every 20 minutes or so.
Find out how to react if you run into a wild animal at the nature reserve…up next!
6) Bring basic first-aid items
Make sure to stash antiseptic wipes, a small bottle of rubbing alcohol, gauze and plasters in your bag to prevent infections if your mini-me gets a cut. By the way, if his skin is hot to the touch, he’s probably dehydrated, so seek medical attention.
7) Pack your child’s meds
If your tot suffers from chronic conditions like asthma, bringing along their inhaler can mean the difference between life and death. Follow your doctor’s instructions if he says that junior should take a puff from his inhaler before any exercise. And if you are worried of any emergencies, don’t venture too far from your car.
The best advice is to walk away calmly and don’t interact with these untamed creatures.
8) Watch the mozzies or bees
With Zika and dengue still making its rounds in Singapore, applying repellent will keep the mozzies away. But if you’re afraid they might get it in their eyes, put mozzie patches on their clothes. Keep clear of natural oils like citronella or lemon eucalyptus, especially for children under age 3. Avoid pools of stagnant water as these are potential breeding grounds for mozzies. Also, buzzing hives may appear inactive — no bees seem to be flying around it — but they are still dangerous.
9) Be vigilant and observe basic safety rules
Drowning, road traffic accidents and falls are the top three causes of death, which can be avoided if you are watchful of where you’re all going. Make a conscious decision to unplug by switching your smartphone to “silent”. Your phone should only be a lifeline in an emergency. At the playground, touch the play surfaces to check if these are hot, so that your peewee won’t get burnt. Also, pay extra attention to any moving parts that might trap your tot, or pinch or scratch their skin. Always supervise them if they are using any equipment. Remember, taking your eyes off your toddler — even if it’s just for a split second — can be costly.
10) Follow park rules
When you trek through our nature reserves, you might run into wild animals like monkeys and wild boar. The best advice is to walk away calmly and don’t interact with these untamed creatures. If they snatch your food, don’t confront them or fight for it. Do note that feeding the animals is prohibited in all public parks and nature reserves. And if a wild crittur, especially a snake, bites you ― get immediate medical attention.
Check out these tot stories, too…