Babies and young children can become seriously ill during very hot weather suffering from dehydration, heat exhaustion and even heatstroke and so it’s vital you know how to keep them cool.
On sunny days babies under six months should never be in direct sunlight and young children should be kept in the shade as much as possible, especially between 11am and 3pm. Sunscreen is not suitable for babies under six months. Older babies and toddlers, particularly if they are going in and out of the water, should have their exposed skin protected by a high factor (30 or higher), water resistant sunscreen. This should be reapplied regularly throughout the day. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids. If you’re breastfeeding you won’t need to give them water as well as breast milk, but you may find your baby is thirstier and wants to breastfeed more than usual.
Here are 5 top tips on keeping our kids happy in this hot weather, from the NCT.
1. Chill rooms out before they sleep
Be prepared, even when it’s 2pm and bedtime isn’t in your brain yet. Use shades or light-coloured curtains and keep them closed, even in the daytime. Open windows too but be careful that small children can’t climb out or reach them.
2. Stop thirst
Make sure children stay hydrated with regular drinks.
3. Fill up the paddling pool
Paddling pool time. Dig it out, fill it up and set up a deck chair nearby for yourself. Just make sure the pool is in the shade and that you supervise children at all times.
You could replicate it at night too with a cool bath to get their temperature down before they go to sleep.
4.Strip them off
Keep nightwear and bedclothes to a minimum. If it’s very hot, you could even just go with a nappy and a single well-secured sheet that won’t come loose during the night.
5.Avoid the car
Cars are heat traps and it can be hard to stay cool in your vehicle – unless it’s got proper air conditioning. When the weather is really warm, why not keep it local and go to somewhere like your nearby park.