Would you wear a weighted or compression vest in the heat of the summer? My own son insists on wearing the same vest regardless of the weather. However many kids are thrilled to learn about cooler options that deliver the same deep hug and calming pressure against the skin.
Kids can breathe easy with a comfortable pressure mesh vest for self-regulation and sensory integration. It’s common to wear a vest periodically to gain focus or greater concentration for test-taking, homework or sports activities. Other people like my son choose to wear the vest all the time because they crave the feel of the pressure.
Read on for six sensory tips to help with self-regulation during the summer heat waves. Of course, if you have a child like mine who wants to wear the same old vest, don’t worry. Their body will adjust to the change in temperature, no matter how crazy it seems.
- Vests that Breathe. Hold off on neoprene. Try a vest that breathes a bit. You can choose a cotton, denim or mesh vest that is more breathable and comfortable for hotter weather.
- Line Your Vest. Try wearing your vest with a cotton t-shirt underneath to allow the skin to breathe and wick away any perspiration. You can also alternate between wearing a vest and just a short-sleeve compression shirt.
- Weighted Belt or Suspenders. You may want to consider a weighted belt or weighted suspenders until the weather cools off a bit. These allow a lot of free movement with the benefits of added weight.
- Heavy Work. Be sure you are providing enough heavy work activities such as swimming, doing chores, playing ball, climbing, swinging and jumping to help regulate sensory needs.
- Try an activity or tool that provides short-term compression and offers sensory breaks throughout the day.
- Get wet. Use water to cool down and provide sensory regulation aside from the vest. Whether it’s at a pool, a lake, or a simple water hose, water is therapeutic and the resistance provides a wonderland for recruiting muscles. Water is essentially its own sensory filter.
And don’t forget: keep your vest clean! Regular washing will help maintain your vest in tiptop shape for many uses. For most weighted or compression vests, hand wash and air dry to help it last for years.
Ready for more ideas? Check out our tips for a sensory diet that’s healthful in every season.