LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: 6 ways to keep your kids “cool” during summer.

It’s now officially summertime – and mother nature is really celebrating the occasion because we may hit temperatures here in Mid-Michigan not felt in nearly 10 years. Experts say that shouldn’t stop you though from letting your kids play outside, in fact, they should get outdoors every single day – but it’s also important to know what’s too much or not enough. Here are 6 ways to keep your kids “cool:

*Stay Hydrated. Bring a water bottle or know where clean drinking water is easily found at all times.

*Dress accordingly. Shorts, t-shirts, and open-toed shoes cool down a body a lot.

*Keep cold or frozen foods, like popsicles or smoothies, always on hand.

*Avoid peak heat hours, which can vary here in Michigan, where one day it’s from 1 pm to 4 pm and the other from 4 pm to 6 pm.

*Enforce cool-down periods. These can be as simple as a 5-minute break to drink some water and slow down their heart rate if they’re playing hard.

*Know the signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Safety experts say sweating, being red-faced, thirsty, and warm are normal reactions to heat… but when your child shows any abnormal reactions, the situation then becomes dangerous. Dehydration is when your body doesn’t have enough water — and signs include feeling rapid heartbeat, confusion, and sunken eyes. Heat exhaustion takes place when sweating isn’t enough for your body to cool down, and this can lead to dehydration, a rapid pulse, and other chemical imbalances. Heat stroke is the most serious heat and high humidity-related injury for kids. This can cause a child to experience severe symptoms like nausea, muscle pain, headaches, and dizziness.

So there you have it — a quick 6 ways to keep your kids cool this summer — and away from overheating.