5 Summertime Tips For Sensory Success

Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families

Adult And Child At Pool

The summer sun is finally here in Northeast Ohio, and we’ve got to enjoy it while it lasts! However, if your child has sensory issues, it might not all be fun in the sun. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to overload the senses, and when your child is at the beach or the pool, there can be a lot of stimuli to process. Here are some tips that you can incorporate into your summer routine to help ensure sensory success for your child.

1. Lotion up BEFORE you leave the house.
Applying sunscreen can be a tough activity for a child with sensory issues. With all of the activity at the pool or the beach, it can be overwhelming to tackle such a tall task. If you apply before you leave the house, not only are there less competing stimuli, but the lotion can dry, and when you get to the beach it will be less likely to attract all of that sand and dirt that can stick to freshly applied sunscreen.

2. Consider using traditional sunscreen lotion, rather than the spray-on applicators.
Spray-on sunscreens can be tacky to the touch and can cause some unsettling sensations when applied. Some children are comforted by the massaging action of applying a traditional lotion. Your child will let you know what is more comfortable; go with whatever makes the process easier for everyone.

3. Allow your child to wear water shoes when walking on sand.
If you think sand is hot on your feet, then it feels like walking on hot coals to a child with sensory issues. We should all be more diligent when walking on hot sand because it can damage the skin, but it can also be mentally taxing on a child with sensory sensitivity. Not only that but when sand gets between the toes and causes discomfort, that can be another trigger for the child.

4. Find the right swimsuit for comfort.
Sometimes baggy or loose-fitting trunks can be uncomfortable for boys, and they might have more success in brief or boxer brief style trunks. For the girls, sometimes the feeling of wet fabric on the belly can be unsettling, so they might prefer a two-piece for comfort. As with the sunscreen application, find out what works and go with it!

5. Be sensitive to the smell of chlorine.
Many people love the smell of chlorine, but to a child with sensory issues, the smell of chlorine is akin to inhaling straight bleach. If your child is sensitive to the odor, try a pair of nose plugs. If that doesn’t help, head to the beach and avoid the pool altogether.

Peak Potential Therapy wants you and your children to have a wonderful summer with lots of fun. If you are looking for activities for your child, visit our page to take a look at our summer camp schedule, and remember that our ABA therapy sessions and speech-language therapy sessions run all year long! Contact us today to find out about all of the great activities that are waiting for your child at Peak Potential Therapy!

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