Would you believe it? It’s the summer and we’re right in the middle of a heatwave. A heatwave that seems to have lasted forever! The main risks posed by a heatwave according to the NHS are dehydration, overheating and heat exhaustion / heatstroke. So what are the best ways to (literally) chill out and avoid feeling uncomfortable or getting ill? Happy Family Hub and some other parents have come up with 10 ways in which you can beat the heat and also help the kids to stay cool.
1. Keep bedrooms cool
This is a simple yet essential idea to keep your bedrooms cool during the day. That way, when you go off to bed all hot and bothered, you won’t feel like you’re entering a furnace!
- Ami Holt (Ami Elizabeth) & Sarah Sullivan (Mummy Cat Notes) – Keep your windows open and curtains shut during the day to keep rooms and bedrooms cool.
- Beth Owen (Life as Mum) – Leave the kids bedroom curtains closed most of the day, open for a bit of fresh air for a couple of hours, but close them back and then put a fan in their room a couple of hours before their bedtime. This will make their bedroom cooler for them.
- Care Johnson – Keep curtains closed during the day. Also invest in a water fan or spray bottle the kids think they’re great but means they aren’t too hot either .
2. Create your own air con
You may have got yourself a fan by now (a simple tower fan is light and portable and not too dangerous to have around). However, you can go one step further and create your own air con and pimp up your fan use!
- Beth Law (Twinderelmo) – Put a bowl of ice in front of a fan to blow cool air around the room. Keep curtains closed during the day to keep it cool for bedtimes.
- Kate Clark (Confessions of a New Mummy) – Mine have been going to bed with a damp sheet over them and the fan on, facing them. It’s the only thing we’ve found that helps.
- Luschka Van Onselen (Diary of a First Child) – Growing up in a hot country we used to spritz water onto the curtains. That cools everything down as the breeze travels through it.
3. Dress your child appropriately
It is advisable to dress your child in loose, lightweight clothing. Ideally, the clothes you use should also be 100% cotton or bamboo. We have also used this time to have a lot of nappy free time (handy during potty training) or just the nappy and nothing else. Just don’t forget to reapply the sun cream if you’ve whipped off your little one’s clothes.
- Georgina Gardner – Putting them in clothes that are 100% cotton or bamboo as they’re much more breathable than other fabrics.
4. Keep drinks on offer at all times
It’s always good to keep you and your child hydrated at all points of the day. Keep drinks to hand wherever they are playing and do not forget to keep offering them sips if they’re not being pro-active enough to remember to help themselves. If it’s a struggle to get water down, fruit and ice lollies can also be a great source of hydration.
- Victoria Glass (The Growing Mum) – Offering liquids regularly as even when it’s around they might be having to much fun to drink it. Also having a water bottle in their room if they wake up thirsty at night. (It’s the first thing I offer my toddler when I go in if he wakes at night).
5. Ice lollies
Making ice lollies can be a lot healthier than the shop-bought ones and can be fun to make. You can get your children involved in creating their own recipes, or get some inspiration from these ones on BBC Good Food. (Check out the orange, satsuma and carrot lollies!)
- Victoria Sully (Healthy Vix) – Make 100% fruit and veg ice lollies to cool them in the day and keep them healthy.
6. Cool bath
Each day has ended recently with a nice cool bath. Not only has this been good for lowering body temperature, it’s also been good for washing off all of the extra outdoor muck we’ve accumulated. It’s amazing how much dry grass can stick onto wet sticky bodies!
- Hayley Muncey (Miss Many Pennies) – Give them a cool bath in the evenings to help them feel less hot and sticky.
7. Find the coolest room
For us, the coolest room to escape to is the garage and also our spare bedroom which houses the musical instruments. It’s been quite nice to have an excuse for a bit of a music ‘jam’ whilst enjoying a bit of coolness.
- Jenny Curtis (Kid Transit) – Luckily for us, the coolest room in our house is our through lounge where all my daughters toys are! Not so great in the winter but perfect with the current hot weather as she can play in cool comfort.
8. Toys in ice
We recently read about a sensory activity you can do, where you make frozen dinosaur eggs. This is where you hide a dinosaur figure in a balloon with water and glitter, freeze it and then remove the balloon to make an icy egg toy. Your little ones can have fun trying to melt it to get to the toy!
- Jen Mellor (Just Average Jen) – For little ones playing with ice that has treats in (berries work well or grapes) that they can’t have until the ice melts is good as they have to play with the ice to get it to melt and thus cool down.
9. Staying out of the sun during a heatwave
You could try and stay out of the sun altogether, but it is nice to absorb a bit of Vitamin D and of course fresh air. Instead, why not avoid the heat and stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day). We’ve noticed that the parks have been a lot busier first thing in the morning during these hot days, so why not try it too?
10. Splashing around
A fun and traditional way of keeping cool is splashing around and getting wet. Paddling pools come in all shapes and sizes; adding a few toys into the mix or getting a novelty paddling pool can make playtime fun. Water pistols and water bombs are also great for playing with in the garden and getting both children and their parents wet. Just don’t forget to keep applying the sun cream! If your child is hesitant about having sun cream put on them, we recommend the ‘My Strawberry Monkey‘ book. It helps children to realise why we need to use cream and what happens when we don’t!
Check out the local paddling pools and splashpads that your local council has to offer. For those living near us in Bracknell, Berkshire – Jocks Lane and Locks Ride provide great splashpad facilities. There is also a huge paddling pool that has now opened up for the summer at California Country Park near Wokingham.
Other ways of keeping cool with water is water sprays, wet flannels and cooling sprays such as ‘Magicool‘ (a miracle product!). If you’re heading out for a day in the sun, you can freeze some damp flannels which have been rolled up. Take them with you in a plastic bag then unwrap them and place them over your face. Bliss!
We hope you manage to keep yourself and your little ones cool during the hot weather. If you’ve got any other great tips, do let us know by commenting below or by joining in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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