Keeping Children Safe in the Summer Sun

The summer sun has been heating up Florida for months now, and the ever-rising temperatures confirm it. School is out, and families are taking to the pool, lakes, and ocean beaches to beat the heat for summertime fun. There are some precautions that parents and caregivers should take to prevent sunburn, long-term skin damage, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Spend time in the sun wisely.

Children want to be out all day long during the summer break. However, parents and caregivers should limit the amount of time spent in direct sunlight. If possible, schedule outdoor activities before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. to avoid the maximum strength of the sun’s rays. If being out in the sun can’t be avoided, have them wear UV protective clothing, which provides a great layer of protection. 

From swimsuits to lightweight long sleeve shirts and pants, sun protective clothing can provide up to SPF 50 protection to delicate skin. Wide-brimmed hats are recommended as they not only shield the face, but protect the scalp and neck from direct sun exposure. This is especially important for newborns and infants too young to have sunscreen safely applied.

Sunscreen is still your friend.

Sunscreen is still the most valuable tool in the summer sun protection plan when used properly. It should be applied at least 15 minutes prior to the first exposure of the day and then reapplied every 2 hours. Reapply more often if swimming or sweating profusely. Effective sunscreens protect from both UVA and UVB light and have a minimum of SPF 30. Whether spray on or lotion, sunscreen is an absolute must have for keeping kids safe in the summer sun.

Protect those beautiful eyes.

Children’s eyes allow more UV light to pass through to the retina than adult eyes. The radiation that passes through causes cellular damage which can cause complications later in life, such as cataracts and cancer of the cornea. Children are more likely to reach for a pair of sunglasses before heading outside if they have been encouraged from infancy to wear them. For added incentive, children are also more likely to wear them if they have selected their own style and color. Set a good example by wearing your sunglasses every time you are out in the sun. Make sure everyone’s eyes are protected before heading out for summer fun in the sun.

Know the warning signs of sunburn and treat it as soon as possible.

People who suffer five or more sunburns over the course of a lifetime have doubled the chances of developing skin cancer (melanoma). Contrary to old-school thinking, there is no such thing as a “healthy” tan. If you see that your child is starting to exhibit red skin, get them out of the sun as soon as possible. 

To prevent a burn from becoming painful, immerse your child in a cool bath, and after patting them dry, moisturize with aloe or cortisone cream. Stay away from heavy creams and lotions that will retain their body heat. Do not use lidocaine or benzocaine products, as they can further aggravate the sun burn. Make sure they drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Staying safe is an important part of summer fun in the sun, and we always encourage our students to keep safety in mind. Our Orlando private school, located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, encourages parents to provide children with activities to help stimulate them over the summer. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

5 Continuing Education Activities In The Summer

Learning over the summer can sometimes be the last thing on your mind when you’re busy trying to find ways to entertain your child. Keeping their minds active sets them up for success when they return to school in the fall. Try out one of these activities when you’re stuck on what to do with your child to continue their education this summer. 

Gardening

Gardening requires planning and patience from both you and your child. This activity can teach your child about natural science and how to care for things. When gathering the materials, you can explain the process of how plants grow. You can sit down with them and let them watch videos about how plants grow and the purpose of caring for them. Gardening requires children to have patience and the ability to nurture and care for something other than themselves. 

Science Experiments

Doing at-home science experiments is a great way to incorporate science and fun over the summer. Children will be excited to do an experiment at home in their own space. Trying experiments like a volcano, slime, and a milk color wheel can be both fun and educational. These experiments teach children about science outside of a classroom setting. For examples and instructions for science experiments that are safe and fun to do with your kids, click here.

Scrapbooking and Journaling

Scrapbooking and journaling make writing fun and easy for kids. Scrapbooking gives them the opportunity to create their own collection of memories in one place. Encourage them to collect things they see in their everyday lives, and give them a way to take photos. Ask them to journal with each item that they place in the scrapbook, as a way to remember that moment and how they felt. This will make writing easier for them and help develop their writing skills 

Math Based Games

Playing games that require numbers and computation can be a seamless way to incorporate learning into summer fun. Games like UNO and Monopoly require math in a subtle way. Qwirkle is a sequence game in which the goal is to match shapes and tiles together. Card games can be math-based as well; try playing pyramid solitaire, go fish, or a game of 21 to incorporate math in a game format. 

Make Reading Fun

Creating a reading competition for your children can be a fun way to get them to read over the summer. Set up an incentive like a pizza party or sleepover with friends to inspire children to complete a certain amount of reading. This will bring out their competitive sides while encouraging them to read for fun. You can do a themed reading series like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. At the end of their reading, you can have a movie night and watch the correlating movie. Another way to make reading fun is to create a dedicated space for them to read. This will allow them to have an area they can go to separate from their play areas and get them into the mindset to read. 

Continuing education over the summer is important for keeping children’s minds active. That’s why our Orlando private school, located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, encourages parents to provide children with activities to help stimulate them over the summer. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

5 Tips for Summer Water Safety

pool lifeguard water safety

When the weather heats up, it’s natural for children to want to take a dip in the water to cool off. While most adults can easily find their way through bodies of water, children need a little extra help. Drowning is a serious concern, especially when children find their way into water without supervision. Here are our recommendations for keeping your child safe around water this summer.

Pay Attention

In a perfect world, every pool and beach would have attentive lifeguards on duty at all times. However, this simply isn’t the case. Whenever your child gets in the water, whether it’s an inflatable pool or an ocean, stay vigilant. Make sure you know your child’s location and pay attention to how they’re handling the water. If you have a pool in your home and can’t find your child, check the pool first. Paying attention to your child’s swimming habits could save their life.

swimming children in pool with sunglasses

No Swimming Alone

When you’re busy and your child wants to go swimming, you may be tempted to let them go alone. However, anything from cramps to overconfidence in swimming ability can create a dangerous situation. See if they can find a buddy to go to the pool with if you’re not able to go. While a friend or sibling may not be as strong as an adult, they can at least call for help. Tell your child and their buddy who to call in the case of an emergency.

Swim Lessons

One way to help your child stay safe is by teaching them how to swim. By taking swimming lessons, your child learns how to stay afloat and hold their own in the water. Swim instructors make sure your child swims with proper form and technique. Lessons alone will not keep your child safe from harm, but they can help your child confidently navigate the waters under normal circumstances. No child is too young to learn to start swimming; even infants can take water exposure classes and get familiar with bodies of water.

boy with life jacket paddle boarding on lake

Life Jackets

When your child is just learning how to swim or going on an outdoor adventure near the water, wearing a life jacket can quite literally save their life. These are especially important when riding on boats or going near large bodies of water where it’s not always easy to keep track of your child. Children are naturally curious, which can get them into trouble. Life jackets aren’t a substitute for watching your child; they are an added layer of protection. Floaties can help children who are just learning to swim but are not replacements for life jackets.

Know What to Do in an Emergency

Telling your child what to do in an emergency can help keep them safe. However, it’s equally important that you know what to do if something goes wrong. Here’s what you should do in the event of an emergency:

  • Alert the lifeguard if one is available to help.
  • If no lifeguard is present, remove the person from the water if you can do so without putting yourself in harm’s way.
  • Ask someone to call emergency services. If you’re alone, provide 2 minutes of care, then call. 
  • Use rescue breathing, CPR and an AED if available.
  • Signs a swimmer needs help: 
    • They’re not moving forward in the water.
    • They’re vertical in the water and can’t move.
    • They’re motionless and face down in the water.

During summer break, children in Florida naturally gravitate toward the water. It’s important to keep them safe when they do. At St. Charles Borromeo, teachers work hard to guide students toward academic and spiritual growth. Our Orlando private school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Support a Local Orlando Business on National Ice Cream Day

ice cream cone with pink background

Ice cream is essential for getting through Florida summers, especially for kids (and kids at heart)! On National Ice Cream Day — Sunday, July 18th — ice cream shops go all out with special flavors and deals. One great way to celebrate this holiday is by supporting local businesses here in Orlando. Here are a few great options that aren’t far from our Orlando private school: 

The Greenery Creamery 

The Greenery Creamery, an Asian-owned ice cream shop, calls itself “Orlando’s first artisanal ice cream boutique.” With a variety of locally sourced dairy and plant-based ice cream options, you’re sure to find flavors you and your child enjoy. If you have adventurous taste, this is the place to go. While flavors like sweet cream and cookies and cream can be found, there are also options like guava, blueberry lavender and black ash coconut. You can find this shop at their original Downtown Orlando location or at their newer location in Downtown Sanford. 

 

 

woman in pink apron handing ice cream cone

Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream 

Another great handcrafted option in Orlando is Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream, with locations in Audubon Park, Fern Creek and Oviedo. All of their ice cream is handmade in Orlando. This ice cream shop offers classic flavors like chocolate and strawberry, as well as fun flavors like maple bourbon bacon and rose almond pistachio. In addition to their staple flavors, they have a rotating special menu that includes non-dairy options. 

ice cream in bins

Sperry Deli & Creamery 

Named after Orlando Mayor Frank Ezra Sperry, who served in the early 1900s, Sperry Deli & Creamery recently opened in Thornton Park near Lake Eola. This deli serves Boars Head products and a variety of ice cream flavors. Most of the flavors fall under the typical ice cream shop repertoire. Along with ice cream shop favorites like vanilla, chocolate, cookies and cream and cookie dough, they offer sorbets and low-fat flavors. This is a great place to go if you’re looking for a plain and simple ice cream experience.

purple popsicles on pink background

The Pop Parlour 

While The Pop Parlor is not an ice cream shop per se, their popsicles are perfect for cooling down on a summer day. Along with homemade popsicles, they offer specialty coffee drinks and tea, so there’s something for everyone. Like The Greenery Creamery and Sperry Deli & Creamery, The Pop Parlor started in Downtown Orlando, right next to Lake Eola. It has since expanded to UCF and will soon be opening a Texas location. 

At St. Charles Borromeo, we emphasize the importance of service to the community, which includes supporting small businesses. Teachers work hard to guide students toward academic and spiritual growth. Our Orlando private school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Motivating Children and Teens During Summer Break

teen girl having waffles for breakfast

School’s out for summer, and suddenly there seem to be infinite hours to fill. Some children try to sleep the boredom away, while others look forward to spending quality time with their screens. Keeping children and teens motivated during summer break may feel like a chore, it’s far from impossible. Just like adults, children sometimes just need an extra push to get motivated. Here are our recommendations. 

Decide on a Daily Schedule

Planning out a child’s entire summer will be met with groans. However, it’s important to keep them on a regular daily routine. Setting approximate wake-up times, mealtimes and bedtimes can keep them on track without being overbearing. Make sure the times are age appropriate, keeping in mind that teenagers naturally stay up longer and go to sleep later. See if you can incorporate physical activity each day, even if it’s just a short walk. Try to find a balance between structured activities and downtime. This will help your child keep up healthy habits while still giving them a much-needed summer break.

dart board with dart on outside

Help Them Set Goals

Setting goals is essential to staying motivated. Your goals for summer might be to lose a few pounds, read a few books or clean up the cluttered garage. Consider goals for your child that will keep them focused on the future. For younger children, goals like reading at the next grade’s reading level or learning a new sport would be great. For teens, maybe this is the summer they learn to drive or get their first summer job. Help your child set actionable goals, and walk them through the steps to complete them. 

Try a Summer Job or Volunteering

Whether it’s paid or unpaid, working in a structured environment is a great opportunity for older children and teens. It gives them a purpose when they’re not going to class every day. Working helps improve communication skills, build work ethic and develop leadership skills. Either type of job will look great on a college application or resume. If your child has passions for certain causes, help them find volunteer opportunities. If they’re looking to fund hobbies, a paid summer job may be a better fit.

happy young family outside

Plan for Family Time

Whether you’re keeping it local or traveling to see other family members, spending time with your child will help them focus. Come up with screen-free plans and outdoor activities everyone can do together. Make sure to keep your child posted and, if they’re interested, see if they want to be involved in the planning. Activities like camping, riding bikes or going to the park, pool, beach together can be fun and safe to do as a family. 

At St. Charles Borromeo, teachers work hard to guide students toward academic and spiritual growth. Our Orlando private school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.