Those of us who grew up here in the Phoenix are understand the Arizona heat. Transplants learn, but Arizona kids need extra protection.
Arizona Heat is Part of Life Here
Arizona heat is part of our lives. If recent summers are any indication of what to expect, we should anticipate hotter weather arriving sooner and heat waves lasting longer.
These key items must be part of your lifestyle, particularly if you have kids with you:
- Several bottles of water
Keep water in all of your vehicles for drinking and car emergencies, including an overheated engine, radiator, or water pump. Tuck a bottle of sunscreen into a seat pocket, and throw a few hats in the trunk, too.
Dress your kids for the weather. Put them in loose, light-colored clothing that lets their skin breathe and catch whatever breezes come their way.
Give them sunglasses, too. The Arizona sun is as bright as it’s hot. We sell kid-size glasses for boys and girls, made of safe, shatter-proof plastic. They’re water-friendly, too.
Special Heat Considerations for Kids
Most people know that the hours between 10 am and 2 pm are when the sun is strongest. It’s also when anything left outside and in an unshaded car or truck heat up, too. This includes car seats, toys, and playground equipment.
If you live in Arizona, you probably have your windows tinted and shades to protect your steering wheel. Be sure you have sunshades for your backseat passengers, too.
If you can’t park your car in a garage or shaded area, drape a towel or blanket over car seats and boosters to block out the worst of the rays. Even better, invest in car seat sunshades that provide extra protection over the car seats and boosters.
There are also rollers you can install on side windows, but as The Car Seat Lady points out, these can peel off (the sun does a number on any number of stick-on products) and fall on an unsuspecting passenger.
Splash Pads: Safe Relief from the Arizona Heat!
Just about every outdoor venue in Arizona, from shopping centers to parks, have embraced spraying water all around. Splash pads are a favorite way for Arizona kids to cool off.
What Arizona kid doesn’t have memories of splash around at Tempe Marketplace, Desert Ridge, and other venues where there’s ice cream nearby? Almost all parks have them, too–Scottsdale’s Agua Linda down the street from us has a couple that are pretty much on all the time when kids are there in weather over 90º.
If you have a yard or patio where kids play, consider installing water misters to make sure they stay cool. It also makes it more pleasant when you or a sitter is outside with the kids. Even in the shade, it’s still hot!
Keep Arizona Kids Safe at the Pool
Arizona law requires homes with pools to install pool barriers that prevent little ones from entering the pool. This only applies to homeowners whose residents include children under six years of age.
However, if you have grandchildren or other kids who frequently visit, please consider installing barriers at your pool, too.
If you need help paying for such a barrier, the United Phoenix Firefighters and the Valley of the Sun United Way have pooled resources to provide assistance to Maricopa County residents who qualify. Check out their application and learn more about how to support this valuable program.
Finally, be sure your kids, grandkids, and other young friends know how to swim. Every town in the Valley offers low-cost swim lessons and many will waive fees altogether for low-income families.