So this summer hasn’t really lived up to expectations so far after the long heat wave we had last year. But, the weather is finally sorting itself out and warmer, sunnier days are ahead! Finally!
But along with consecutively warm days can come crabby children (and adults!), sleepless nights and the potential for sunburn or even heatstroke. So I’ve compiled a list of top tips to beat the heat whilst embracing and making the most of these long sunny days, because we never how long the sun will stick around for!
Heat makes us sweat. It’s our bodies’ way of trying to cool down, but it also means we need to regularly replace the fluid we lose through sweat so we don’t become dehydrated, This is especially important for children who can become dehydrated super quickly as they play actively and might forget to drink. So fill up those water bottles regularly or even pop a few in the freezer over night so they defrost gradually and stay cooler for longer throughout the day (leave a little bit of room for the water to expand as it freezes though!) Maybe add some fruit to make it more appealing and refreshing for children. If you are breastfeeding, you are probably super thirsty all of the time anyway, but make extra sure you sit down with a pint of water every time you feed. NHS guidelines state that breastfed babies don’t need water in addition to breast milk, but that you may notice them feeding more often. For more info click here
And if you do decide to have an alcoholic tipple in the sunshine, adding ice, alternating with soft drinks and being aware of how much you have will all help you to avoid becoming dehydrated. Sorry, I sound like my mum in that last bit!
The sun is at it’s hottest between 11am and 3pm so try to keep yourself and the kids out of the sun during that period if you can – easier said than done I know!
But if you are out and about then a hat will help give some shade to little faces and keep the sun off their head.
There is no such thing as too much! Slap it on, be liberal and reapply frequently. Children’s skin is more sensitive than adults so it’s especially important to protect them. Take note of the UVA and UVB ratings as they can vary wildly between brands. The SPF is the Sun Protection Factor with Factor 50 + offering the strongest UVB Protection. The star rating measures the UVA rating with 5 stars offering the highest UVA protection against ultra violet A radiation.
Keeping Cool at Night
One of the downsides to hot weather is that it can make sleeping difficult. Kids up and down the stairs eleventy billion times because they’re too warm makes for tired and usually crabby children the next day, which isn’t fun for anyone! Try some of these tips for keeping the house and bedrooms cooler…..
Keep curtains closed during the day to keep the sun (and therefore the heat) out. Even more of a bonus if you have blackout curtains. Get the windows open too obviously but be sure to leave your house secure and close them if you’re off out. Once the sun has gone down, open the curtains to allow more air to flow through.
Open any loft hatches you have. This lets the heat rise up into the loft space and escape the living areas. Of course if you have a loft conversion then opening the windows up there will have the same effect.
Use a fan to help circulate the air in the room but ensure it’s positioned so it is not blowing directly at babies/children. An iced bottle of water in front of or behind the fan can help cool the air being circulated.
Take an icy drink up to bed to help keep co0ler for longer.
Wear less! Short pyjamas or in the buff if it helps. Change the duvet to a lighter tog or just a sheet as it may feel much cooler in the early hours.
This info graphic from Slumbersac is really helpful when wondering what to dress a baby in for bed.
Let’s face it, it might not last for long but whilst we have the sunshine we should enjoy it. Get that paddling pool out, go to the park, have an ice lolly – or make your own! Plant seeds, feed the ducks, visit a nature reserve, build a den and just enjoy the great outdoors this summer.