Cool kids?! Keeping the family cool and comfy during a heat wave

We’re not quite sure when heatwaves became a staple of British summer, but when the sun cranks up its heat it’s our responsibility as parents to make sure we keep the little ones cool.  

Hydration is king: We know it’s not always easy to encourage the littles ones to drink lots of water, it is important they gulp down lots of fluids during the day. Whether it be water, fresh fruit juices, or hydrating snacks like watermelon or cucumber slices, these are the real MVPs of summer. Keep water bottles within reach and remind them to take regular sips. 

Dress for the Weather: Time to swap out those heavy outfits for breezy, loose clothes made of comfy fabrics like cotton or linen. Opt for lighter shades that can help bounce off the sun’s rays so you little ones not only look cool… but feel it too! 

SP-YES!: The last thing any parent wants on their hands is a sunburnt bub. It’s essential you always have a bottle of SPF to hand as baby and children’s skin is much more sensitive than adults, and damage caused by repeated exposure to sunlight could lead to problems in later life. Children aged under 6 months should be kept out of direct strong sunlight, and all children should wear at least SPF30 that’s topped up regularly. 

Limit Outdoor Activities: The peak heat hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are not our friends at this time of year. Try to keep the outdoor activities to a minimum during those hours. Instead, plan indoor playdates, set up games in shady spots, or hunt down air-conditioned havens like museums or libraries. 

Create Cool Indoor Spaces: As much as we’d all love to have an air-conditioned home, it’s important to keep your space cool with what you have available. You could grab a fan and set up a designated play area in the coolest room. Or pull down the blinds and curtains during the hottest parts of the day to block out the sun.  

Take Refreshing Baths and showers: If ‘taking a dip’ has to come in the form of having a bath rather than a nice big swimming pool, it’s still a great way to cool down! For an extra touch of relaxation, you can add a few drops of some essential oils like lavender or mint to really get the kids feeling zen. 

Optimize Bedtime Comfort: Bedtime can be a sweaty affair, but fear not! Keep things cool and cozy by using lightweight bedding materials and avoiding clingy synthetic fabrics. If you have a fan, lucky you! Let it work its magic and keep that bedroom nice and chill. You can even try freezing a hot water bottle, as these great for regulating the temperature in your bed. 

Stay in the Shade: When venturing outdoors, grab umbrellas, canopies, or pop-up tents to create an oasis of coolness in parks or your garden. And hey, don’t forget – no one is too cool for a sun hat in this weather. 

Provide Frozen Treats: Nothing beats the heat like a yummy frozen treat! Whip up some healthy and refreshing snacks like fruit popsicles, frozen yogurt, or homemade smoothies. They’ll keep your kiddos cool, satisfied, and packed with essential nutrients. 

Water Play: Time to turn water into the ultimate source of fun! Set up a sprinkler, blow up a small inflatable pool, or even crack out some water balloons, it’s a sure-fire way to keep your kids entertained and cool. 

Stay Informed and Be Prepared: Stay updated on weather forecasts and keep an eye out for heatwave alerts in your area. Find out if there are any local outdoor pools or water play parks offering relief from the heat. Educate yourself about the signs of heat-related illnesses so you spot any usual behaviour. 

Remember, it’s all about staying aware, keeping hydrated, seeking shade, and unleashing your creativity with indoor and outdoor activities. Summer can still be a blast for our little ones, while keeping them safe from the heat.