During a heatwave it can be challenging to keep children hydrated, happy and busy with activities that don’t leave them feeling miserably hot and bothered. To help you cope with high temperatures, we’ve gathered some tried and tested advice.
Avoid the midday sun
Playing outdoors before 10am and after 4pm is a recommended plan for the hottest days of summer, as it means you’ll avoid the full heat of the sun. Place a paddling pool or games in the shade if you are home for the day, or plan a day trip to nearby woods where the canopy of trees can help you all feel cooler.
Play in water
Being in and around water is one of the most enjoyable ways for children to cool down on the hottest days. Children love to splash in paddling pools, jump through the spray of a hose pipe and might agree to take cold showers at regular intervals. If you are lucky enough to live close to the sea or you have a public Lido nearby, pack up your towels and take a dip – after protecting them from the blazing sunshine with adequate clothing, hats and sun protection.
Drink lots of water
Children can easily become dehydrated when the temperature rises. Encourage them to sip plenty of fluids throughout the day by keeping water bottles topped up or by putting out water in a jug or in a dispenser with a tap. Experts recommend drinking water every 20 minutes on a hot day and taking water breaks in the shade. Homemade fruit popsicles will also help to keep little ones cool, and by blending them up at home you avoid additives and added sugar. Lollies take around 5 hours to set in the freezer.
Children will want to wear as little as possible in the hot weather, especially when they’re splashing about in water. Pick out light coloured and loose-fitting clothing for your children to wear on hot days. Natural fibres are the best choice for helping children to stay cool in the heat, while sun hats and shades are essential accessories for sunny days.
Find your cool place
Staying in the shade or the coolest room in the house is always sensible. Rooms will be less stuffy if you close the curtains and leave windows open. Use electric fans if you have them.
Wear safe shoes
Children should always wear appropriate footwear on sunny days to protect against accidental burns from hot pavements or surfaces at playgrounds, for example.
For advice from the NHS on how to cope in hot weather for all ages, please visit their page, here – https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/
Only swim in safe places. For more advice you can visit our page on Water Safety, here – http://advice.primarytimes.co.uk/how-can-i-protect-my-child-from-drowning-i-need-water-safety-tips-help/