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Tips to keep kids cool in hot weather

Lemonade And Thermometer In Sun

As the sun blazes high and summer comes to its peak, coping with soaring temperatures can be challenging for many of us, especially for the youngest ones. With their endless energy and excitement for outdoor adventures, it is crucial for parents to make sure their children are kept cool and safe.

Whether you spend the summer day playing on a beach, having a picnic in a park, or simply enjoying the time in the garden or inside your home, it is important to take necessary precautions to protect children from excessive heat and avoid potential danger.

In this article, we provide some useful tips for parents and caregivers to keep kids cool in high temperatures, so you can enjoy the summer holidays safely.

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Hands Holding Up Glasses Of Water

Stay hydrated

On the days when temperatures hit the red numbers, staying hydrated is not just a good idea – it’s an absolute essential. Drinking plenty of water doesn’t only prevent thirst but protects the body from dehydration and other serious health risks.

While fluids are crucial for everyone’s daily routine, children are more vulnerable when it comes to dehydration, as they have a higher metabolic rate, lower body weight, and a decreased ability to regulate their body temperature efficiently.

Dehydration can present a range of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Dry mouth, lips and eyes
  • Dizziness and weakness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite

However, keeping children hydrated may be sometimes tricky, especially when trying to replace sweetened drinks with plain water. These are some of the tips for a better hydration routine:

Lead by example

Children are often a mirror to their parents and caregivers, following their steps and mimicking their behaviour. Carrying your water bottle with you might encourage children to embrace the same routine.

Set reminders

Creating a habit for kids requires dedicated effort and patience. Setting up regular, gentle reminders to take a sip might help you get through the hot day with more ease.

Infuse water with fruits

Drinking plain water all day might become quite dull, especially for children who may get easily bored. Infusing water with strawberries, lemons or oranges can bring an exciting twist to their routine and make hydration more enjoyable.

Offer alternatives

Alongside drinking water, children can also hydrate by eating juicy fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, peaches or cucumbers.

Lawn Sprinkler

Create a water play area

Playing in cool water is one of the best summer activities for children. It’s a simple yet fantastic way to entertain them during the hot weather while keeping them cool and refreshed.

But don't worry if you don’t have the luxury of having a pool in your garden - there are still plenty of solutions to beat the summer heat and create your own refreshing oasis. These are some of the alternatives you can try:

Explore nature’s waters

Visiting a nearby lake or beach can offer an exciting water adventure for children while providing a relaxed environment for adults to spend a day off. It’s important to only ever enter water where it is legal and safe to do so, so make sure you check for rules online and for signs by the water to help everyone stay safe.

Fill up a couple of buckets

Even a small bucket of water can serve as a helpful refreshing area, allowing kids to play, splash and have fun on a hot summer day.

Set up a sprinkler 

If your area isn’t under a hosepipe ban at the moment, a sprinkler can be an excellent alternative to a paddling pool, letting the children run and play through the refreshing spray.

Turn on a hose

A garden hose can be easily turned into a sprinkler, water obstacle or water gun, allowing kids to have endless fun while staying cool under the sun.

T Shirts Drying On Washing Line

Dress in light clothing

Dressing children in appropriate clothing is really important for keeping them cool and safe during summer. By choosing the right styles and fabrics, we can prevent the little ones from overheating while making sure their skin is covered from the intense sun rays.

These are some of the main tips to follow when choosing the right kid’s clothes:

  • Go for breathable fabrics, such as cotton or linen, when possible.
  • Avoid synthetic materials, as they trap the heat and can cause discomfort.
  • Choose light coloured clothes over darker shades to help reflect the sunlight.
  • Never forget to shield the child’s head and face with a cap or sun hat.
  • Invest in a good quality pair of sunglasses to protect the child’s eyes on sunny days.
Sun Cream On Hand

Use sunscreen

While choosing the right clothes comes as an essential step to beat the summer heat, even the best summer outfit can’t offer complete skin protection. Children’s sensitive skin requires an additional layer of defence, making sunscreen an important tool in your sun-safe measures.

Sunscreen acts as a barrier between UV rays and human skin, preventing sunburn and reducing related health risks and long-term consequences of sun exposure. When it comes to protecting a child’s skin from UV radiation, you should never compromise on investing in an effective, good-quality product.

To choose the right sunscreen, these are some of the essential criteria you should keep in mind:

  • Broad spectrum protection, including both UVA and UVB rays
  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30
  • Water-resistant formula

Make sure that you reapply sunscreen every few hours as directed by the bottle and after swimming.

Child Relaxing In Shade Of Tree

Stay away from direct sunlight

While sunscreen is an effective tool to protect a child’s skin from harmful UV rays, the hottest days of the year may require additional protection; simply stay away from the direct sun as much as possible. Whether you choose to hide inside the house or under the trees, seeking shade is one the best strategies to keep kids cool and safe during hot weather.

However, this doesn’t mean you should completely give up on outdoor adventures during summer. Instead, try to schedule your outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day, typically early morning and late afternoon.

Open Velux Window

Keep your house cool

Keeping our indoor areas cool during the summer months may be challenging, especially if you live in a top-floor or a south-facing apartment. Having control over the indoor temperature ensures children’s wellbeing, but also helps create a safe and comfortable environment for everyone.

To make sure the temperature in your rooms stays within the comfortable range, you can follow some of the tips below:

  • Use air-conditioning or fans to regulate temperature and create a refreshing breeze in the house
  • Close blinds or curtains to block out sunlight and prevent excessive heat
  • Opt for lightweight and breathable bedding materials, such as cotton, to keep children and babies cool at night
  • Take advantage of cooler temperatures in the evening and open the windows to ventilate the space

Having an air conditioning system at home isn’t common in the UK, but some properties do have one installed. However, it’s important to realise that while air-conditioning is a useful tool to control indoor temperature during summer, exposing our bodies to drastic temperature changes can be risky. Instead, it’s recommended to set up the thermostat to a comfortable temperature which is neither too hot nor too cold – typically between 22°C to 26°C - allowing children's bodies to acclimate gradually.

Read more tips to help keep your home cool this summer. 

Childs Bedroom

Get lots of rest

Getting plenty of rest during hot weather is vital for children to recover from extreme temperatures and regain energy. So. whether it means taking a short nap during lunchtime, or having an early night, getting a good rest contributes to kids’ physical health, helps them maintain a healthy routine and improves their mental wellbeing.

How to keep baby cool in hot weather at night

Babies are not able to regulate their own temperature as easily as adults or older children so it’s important to take extra care that they are able to stay at a comfortable and safe temperature when sleeping. Some tips include:

  • Giving them a cool bath before bed
  • Using a fan to help circulate air in the baby’s room
  • Ensure you use thin nightclothes and blankets to avoid overheating.