How to keep kids cool during the summer
Adults can take action and help themselves if temperatures soar and they become uncomfortable and too hot during the summer. However, it may be a different story for children, especially toddlers who might not yet have the words to express their discomfort.
Little ones can be affected quickly by the summer sun with issues including sunburn, dehydration and heatstroke which is why children need to be kept cool when the temperatures rise.
For this article, we spoke to bloggers to get their advice on how to keep kids cool during those hot summer months.
Dress them in natural fibre clothing
Clothing made from synthetic fibres is not a wise choice during the summer months because it is not breathable as Who What Wear explains on their website: “As a fully synthetic material, nylon is the opposite of breathable. Because it’s designed to repel water and has a low level of absorption, clothing made from nylon tends to trap heat and sweat against the skin.
“Another summer fabric that’s best avoided is polyester. This common fabric is travel-friendly and wrinkle-resistant, but it also resists moisture, making it less than ideal for hot summer weather.”
Instead, opt to dress little ones in light-weight clothing made from natural materials as Fatima from Blogs by FA explains: “The best way to beat the summer sun is to opt for breathable fabrics instead of making children wear clothes made of polyester. Natural fibres such as cotton work brilliantly in summer. However nowadays, bamboo has also become quite popular especially among the market for the little ones. The fabric isn’t just soft and breathable but has the capability to absorb sweat making it the perfect material for kids, as it allows them to stay cool and ensures they remain dry.”
Keep bedroom curtains closed during the day
The house can get particularly hot during the summer which can make it tricky for younger children to fall asleep both for nap time and at night. Nicola from Mummy to Dex told us about her tips to help keep the house as cool as possible: “We have a six-month-old baby who naps at least twice a day, so keeping his room as cool as possible is so important.
“During the day, we keep the windows open upstairs, with the curtains closed so the direct sunlight doesn’t come into the bedrooms. Having the windows open creates a nice breeze and the drawn curtains prevent the blazing sun blasting through into the house.”
Another tip is to install a blackout liner or invest in good quality blackout curtains. Networx says: “Blackout curtains are also known as "thermal drapes" for a reason. They're ideal for blocking light and heat from windows that get strong sun.
“Blackout curtains and shades will reduce the amount of heat which is transferred via your windows by as much as 24%, keeping the rooms where they’re installed cooler in summer and warmer in winter.”
Place a thermometer in the bedroom
Making sure that the temperature of a child’s bedroom is at a safe level is also important. Many baby monitors come with a temperature indicator on them so you can keep a close eye. However, if the child is older, then a Gro-egg could come in handy.
A Gro-egg gives adults “peace of mind at a glance” as it changes colour to let you know whether the temperature of a room is too low, too high, or just right, helping you to keep a safe sleeping environment for little ones. The device also displays the temperature reading in degrees Celsius. The NHS advises that the temperature in a baby’s room should be between 16C and 20C to help aid a restful night’s sleep.
A yellow glow suggests a comfortable temperature for children to sleep, while a blue glow means it’s too cold and a red glow suggests it is too hot. At a glance, the colours will give you an indication on whether you need to cool down or heat the room.
Nicola uses the Gro-egg and will dress her children accordingly depending on the temperature: “Usually I will dress him in a long-sleeved vest and very thin sleepsuit during the warmer nights to keep him comfortable, yet cool.”
The Gro-egg also acts as a night light to give the child’s bedroom a soft and comforting glow.
Give children in prams adequate shade
It can be tricky to keep children in the shade when they are strapped into a pram. However, there are many products on the market designed to give youngsters cover while in the pram including detachable parasols and breathable hood covers.
Shelly from Wander & Luxe uses the SnoozeShade while taking her daughter for a stroll: “As a family we are always out and about or travelling during the summer, making the most of the glorious weather.
“With a toddler in tow, I am always very conscious of how hot it might be and whether it is affecting my daughter. Young children are not able to regulate their temperature as well as adults, so I have been hyper-aware of how she is coping with the heat since she was a newborn.
“I always ensure she is dressed in lightweight clothing and that we have plenty of water with us. A favourite product of mine is the SnoozeShade it has been an absolute lifesaver. It offers sun protection, creates the perfect environment for a nap and is made from fabric that allows air to circulate freely.”
Covering a child’s pram with a blanket, or even a light-weight muslin cloth is not recommended because it can cause a heat trap with a reduction in air circulation. The Lullaby Trust website says: “We recommend attaching a clip-on sunshade or parasol to a pram or buggy and checking if the baby is getting too hot by feeling their tummy or the back of their neck. Also, keep babies out of direct sunlight as much as possible.”
Keep children hydrated
If you are planning on spending a day out and about it is worth packing extra drinks in the bag to help keep children hydrated. Encourage them to take sips on fluids little and often to keep them topped up as well as keeping cool.
Zoe from Mummy and Liss Blog makes sure she packs a bag full of summer essentials to help keep her children cool and safe in the sunshine: “My top tips would be to always pack extra drinks in your bags, alongside sun cream and a sunhat. Stay in the shade as much as possible when playing outside and most of all stay hydrated.”
Kindercare says that summer is a time for happy and healthy fun, and it is important to offer plenty of water and hydrating foods, such as watermelon, throughout the day to stay ahead of dehydration which can bring about symptoms like dizziness, fatigue and headaches. The website champions giving older children water to quench their thirst: “If you want to add flavour to water, try adding a wedge of fresh lemon, lime, or orange into it.
“There’s a reason watermelon is a classic at summer picnics and barbecues; they’re 91% water! Other delicious and hydrating summer foods include berries, apples, cherries, grapes, oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers, pineapples, and even leafy greens like spinach and arugula.
A daily dose of fruits and vegetables helps your hydration habit in addition to all the antioxidant and vitamin benefits.”
Get the paddling pool ready
A simple paddling pool set up is a great way to help keep children cool during the summer. Keep the pool in the shade during very hot weather and supervise children at all times. If a paddling pool isn’t an option, then giving little ones a lukewarm bath can work wonders to cool them down and help them feel fresh and comfortable.
Having private household staff on hand to help with day to day activities can help take the pressure off busy homes. Staff can help with a range of duties including making sure you have all the essentials for a great summer, so all you need to do is keep cool.
Image credit: Wander & Luxe