Summer is here and it’s hot! Amber shares her tips on keeping cool with kids and reminders on how to safely bike during these hottest days of summer.
Summer is here! I don’t remember the last time we had so many days with highs in the 90s and lows only in the 70s. What’s a family to do when it wants to enjoy some time in the saddle and steer clear of the heat?
Here are several items our family considers when heading out for a ride:
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Nothing is better than water. Fortunately, our one-year-old went straight from the baby bottle to the water bottle. (At first we thought it was just funny, now it is super convenient – he’ll just grab a water bottle whenever he’s thirsty.) Consider freezing some of those plastic water bottles you’ve accumulated from rides and don’t forget to put one on the bike trailer.
Wear sunscreen. The American Cancer Society suggests using sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen (about a palmful) and reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, toweling dry, or sweating. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days. (Please share any tips you have for applying a wiggling toddler!)
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Preferably something that wicks away sweat. We’re not much for fancy bike clothing in our house, so we rely on light-colored shirts (even for messy toddlers – who ever thought a white shirt for a one-year was a good idea?)
Start early. Who sleeps in with kids around anyway? I don’t remember the last time I was in bed past 7:30am on a weekend. Take advantage of the “cooler” temps and get a few miles in before the heat becomes less tolerable. This works well in our house because the toddler thinks he’s heading to daycare and eagerly gets in the trailer. It is recommended to stay out of the heat between 10 am and 4 pm – especially with small children who are more vulnerable to the heat.
Plan pit stops. Children are a good reminder to take frequent breaks, which is especially critical in hot weather. One of our favorite destinations by bike in the summer is to the nearby pool. There’s nothing like taking a dip in the water to cool off and then continue on your way.
Ride safe and stay cool.
Looking for more information? The Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency both put out news alerts when the weather and air quality are expected to reach dangerous levels. And the American Cancer Society provides safety information on using sunscreen.