A – APPLES or any fruit actually. You can make it fun for older babies and children by making fruit salad or fruit kebab stick. Young babies might enjoy sucking on cooled orange segments.
B – BATH. Give babies and children a cool bath before bed to bring that body temperature down. Keeping activities slow and calming like reading, puzzles etc. No running/jumping games that my children always want to play.
C – CURTAINS. Keep them closed on the sunny side to help stop the heat building up.
D – DRINK lots of water. Aim for 2 litres for adults. Formula fed babies can be given small amounts of cooled boiled water. Offer breastfed babies extra feeds, the milk will naturally change consistency to be more thirst quenching, clever hey.
E – EAT cooling foods. In Chinese and Ayervedic medicine foods are seen to have cooling or warming properties. These foods help our bodies cool down from the inside so include cucumber, lemons, apple, melons, papaya, pineapple, butternut squash, radish juice, and courgette.
F – FLANNEL. Especially lovely for pregnant women, soak a cloth in cold water then apply to your pulse points to keep you cool, back of your neck and on your wrists. Keep re-wetting it in cold water.
G – GET YOUSELF a spray bottle, fill it with water and carry it with you, perfect for instant cool and refresh for all the family if out and about.
H – HATCH. If you have a loft hatch leave it open, as hot air rises it might help the hot air escape from your home.
I – ICE. Place a bottle of water in the freezer, at bedtime put the frozen bottle in front of a fan, it helps cool the air, a bowl of ice works too. Ice really is a versatile and perfect accompaniment for hot weather, add to drinks, suck on cubes (although be careful a chocking with younger ones) or add to a cold foot bath.
J – SEE Y.
K – KEEP APPLYING the SUN CREAM. Use a suncream that doesn’t have lots of chemicals on their tender skin, you can find a number of brands like Green People. Babies under 6 months shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight.
L – LOLLIES. Make your own. You can puree your own fruit and veg combinations for a delicious cool healthy treat. Water lollies are good for instant cool down for little ones.
M – MUSLINS have a multitude of uses. Dampen one with cool water and put over your baby’s body whilst out and about. Also great when cuddling or feeding baby to have a damp muslin between you both to keep the body temperatures down.
N – NATURAL FIBRES. Keep to cotton and other natural material as they let the skin breathe. Keep away from nylon, polyester and other man made sweat inducing fabrics. This is for clothes, bedding, blankets and buggy seat liners.
O – see Y
P – PADDLING POOL. Fun for all the family. Never leave babies and children unattended. If you don’t want to submerge yourself in a pool just sit with your feet in, it will help cool your whole body, wonderful if you are pregnant.
Q – Quercetin. Foods rich in quercetin help to fight off hay fever symptoms, something that can affect your enjoyment of being outdoors. Eat apples, red grapes, red onions, dark cherries, tomatoes and broccoli.
R – REST. Don’t over exert yourself when it’s hot. Your body will have to work hard to keep yourself cool so if you can do nothing. Do nothing. (Except looking after the kids, and some may argue that is a lot of exertion)
S – SHEEPSKIN. This might sound counter intuitive but laying your baby on sheepskin can help keep them cool. Google it, it’s true.
T – THERMOMETER. It is recommended that babies and children will be most comfortable sleeping between 16C (61F) and 20C (68F). Obviously the temperature can’t always be adjusted when it’s super hot but it’s useful to know the recommend temps. Change rooms if you have to, for example my son is in my bed tonight as he has a 30c+ loft room, husband is on the sofa! Remember you may need to adjust your baby’s clothing, perhaps they are in a nappy when put to bed but may need another layer later as the sun goes down.
U – UMBRELLA. Always use a parasol/ sun umbrella or loose muslin (always with airflow) when your baby is in a buggy to keep them out of the sun. It is not advised to peg blankets over the buggy as it can increase the temperature inside the buggy to dangerous levels.
V – VEHICLE. Never ever leave a baby or child in a car unattended in the hot weather. There have been a number of heartbreaking fatal stories in the news. Yes it can be a time consuming and tricky task getting one or more hot and tantruming children out of the car to nip to a shop, but the consequences are just too awful.
W – WHEN TO WORRY. If you are concerned your baby or child is dehydrated then please take them or phone doctor immediately. Some of the signs of dehydration from NHS are;
- Breathe fast
- Have few or no tears when they cry
- Have a soft spot on their head that sinks inwards (sunken fontanelle)
- Have a dry mouth
- Have dark yellow pee or have no/ few wet nappies.
- Have cold and blotchy-looking hands and feet
X – EXCUSE YOURSELF from invitations if you have to that involves long journeys, especially in the car. It is not a place a baby or child wants to be on a hot day. It isn’t rude or lazy, your friends and family will understand.
Y – We have put J, O and Y together because let’s face it us Brits take a while to get used to a heatwave but it is also a lot of fun. Have some JOY too with the sun, it doesn’t come out often!
Z – Zzzzzz If you aren’t sleeping well at night then try and nap as much as possible during the day to keep energy levels up.