Planning for outside time means weather safety is part of a child care provider’s daily routine. Changes in weather require continual monitoring to ensure the health and safety of the children. What clothing, beverages, and protections are appropriate?
The following information is what I use to guide my decisions regarding the safety of outside play.
Condition GREEN – Children may play outdoors and be comfortable. Watch for signs of children becoming uncomfortable while playing. Use precautions regarding clothing. sunscreen, and beverages for all child age groups.
Infants and Toddlers are unable to tell the child care provider if they are too hot or cold. Children become fussy when uncomfortable. lnfants/toddlers will tolerate shorter periods of outdoor play. Dress infants/toddlers in lightweight cotton or cotton-like fabrics during the warmer months. In cooler or cold months dress infants in layers to keep them warm. Protect infants from the sun by limiting the amount of time outdoors and playing in shaded areas. Give beverages when playing outdoors.
Remind children to drink while playing and apply more sunscreen as needed.
Children need a firm approach to wearing proper clothing for the weather (they may want to play without coals, hats or mittens).
Condition YELLOW – use caution, shorten the length of outdoor time and closely observe the children for signs of being too hot or cold.
Condition RED – most children should not play outdoors due to the health risk.