Read on for tips and tricks on how to make sure your children stay comfortable when the weather heats up.
The warm weather makes most things child-related easier – you don’t have to put 18 layers on them before they go out, for example. But it makes some things much more complicated, like keeping them safe in the sun for starters. Then of course making sure they are comfortable when temperatures climb.
Here are our tips for keeping your children cool.
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 (NHS Choices, 2015). Open windows too but be careful that small children can’t climb out or reach them.
2. Use electric fans
Fans are a handy tool for keeping children cool. One warning, only use if the temperature is below 35°C. This may not be such a worry in the UK but it’s worth noting if you’re abroad. Remember to never aim the fan directly at the body (Public Health England, 2017).
3. Stop thirst
Make sure children stay hydrated with regular drinks (Public Health England, 2017). You could also give them the occasional homemade lolly.
4. Fill up the paddling pool
Ah, the trusty paddling pool. 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 (NHS Choices, 2015).
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.
You could also try travelling early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature’s lower. Do make sure you never leave a baby or toddler in a hot car, even for a minute or two.
6. Put a hat on
You thought you had hurdles to climb in life, and then you tried to get a hat on a toddler. We’ve all been there. Yet it’s important to get your child to keep their hat on in the heat.
The ideal hat is one with a wide brim and a flap to cover their neck. Try an elasticated or Velcro strap that tucks under their chin to keep it in place (NHS Choices, 2016).
You could also get a hat for yourself or their favourite teddy to persuade them this is a club they totally want to join. Pick up a hat at your local NCT nearly new sale.
7. 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 (NHS Choices, 2015).
8. Get a nursery thermometer
Your baby will sleep most comfortably when their room is between 16°C and 20°C (NHS Choices, 2015). Being able to keep an eye on the temperature in their room with a thermometer is very handy.
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
You might find attending one of our Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.
Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.
NHS Choices. (2015) How can I keep my baby safe during hot weather? Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1955.aspx [Accessed 1st March 2018]
NHS Choices. (2016) Heatwave: how to cope in hot weather. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/livewell/summerhealth/pages/heatwave.aspx [Accessed 1st March 2018]
Public Health England. (2017) Beat the heat: staying safe in hot weather. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fi… [Accessed 1st March 2018]
NHS Choices. (2015) How to get vitamin D from sunlight Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/vitamin-D-sunlight.aspx [Accessed 1st March 2018]
NHS Choices. (2016) Sunscreen and sun safety. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/livewell/skin/pages/sunsafe.aspx [Accessed 1st March 2018]
NHS Choices. (2017) Sunburn. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sunburn/ [Accessed 1st March 2018]
NHS Choices. (2017) Sun safety for children. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/safety-in-the-sun/#tip… [Accessed 1st March 2018]
NHS Choices. (2018) Heat exhaustion and heatstroke Available From: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heat-exhaustion-heatstroke/ [Accessed 1st March 2018]
NHS Southern Health. (2018) Sun safety http://www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/health-and-wellbeing/childrens-health/… [Accessed 1st March 2018]
NICE. (2016) Sunlight exposure: risks and benefits. Available from: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng34/chapter/2-Supporting-information-… [Accessed 1st March 2018]