Let’s face it, little ones and heat aren’t always the best mix. Here are 10 foolproof ways to keep kids safe and cool in hot weather, to help make sure you all have have fun in the sun, whether you're home or away.
1. HAT & SUNCREAM
They really are the first and last when it comes to sun protection and we have so many different sun hats, you're bound to find one that suits your kid, whetever their age or style. We especially like ones with a flap that covers their neck and shoulders too. Liewood's Senia Sun Hat is a cutely retro classic and the KIDLY Label Recycled Sun Hat is our best-seller because it's stretchy, soft, good for water or land play and made of 80% recycled fabric.
2. BLINDS DOWN & CURTAINS CLOSED
You know how those shutters always remain closed in Mediterranean countries in high summer? That's for a good reason. Try to keep kids' bedrooms shaded all day so the temperature doesn't creep up over the day to an oven-like state at bedtime, exactly when you need it to be cool and comfy.
3. SPLASTASTIC PLAY
Water play is a great way to keep them cool while they chill in the garden. Aussie brand SUNNYLiFE always does a fab line in paddling pools and giant inflatable sprinklers in ace shapes, but you can make you own fun, as they say, with stuff you already have around the house. Shallow fill an old baby bath, or the biggest bucket in the shed, chuck in some ice cubes and their fave bath toys, pop it somewhere shady and they’ll be there for hours. (Just don’t forget that suncream. And the sun hat. Again.)
4. HEAD FOR HYDRATION
And this sounds like an obvious one, but make sure they drink PLENTY. Keep a water bottle topped up with chilled water and DON'T go out without it filled up.
5. TAKE EXTRA COVER
Every parent knows that trying to keep kids in the shade when they’ve crawling or walking is more of a challenge than the Crystal Maze. The answer? A sun shelter. Whether you improvise - think the dens you made with sheets when you were a kid - or go all out and buy a UV protected pop up one, adding a few toys will keep them amused for a while. If you're on the move, a pram cover is essential for walks in the blazing sun. We rate this one by Dooky. And while they sit in the shade, pop on a poncho while they relax on the beach between swims.
6. UV GOT THIS
Obviously there’s nothing better than that hat and suncream to make sure they’re protected from the sun. (Shall we say it a few more times?) But, there are other things that top up that protection. Invest in a UV sun suit or rash best and shorts for added coverage when they're enjoying sea and pool play - and don’t forget UV-protecting sunglasses.
Babiators protect their eyes from the fiercest sun - and look fierce too.
7. STAY OUT OF THE CAR
Unless your car has good AC, try to keep time spent in it to a minimum. Two hours driving to a beach will be no fun at all when you get there if everyone is is a state of near-collapse from the journey. However, if you're nipping about locally, get some sunshades for the car windows.
If your kid's a fruit lover, freezing some berries makes a cool snack (just don’t forget to chop them up before serving), while puree lollies made in an ice pop maker or even a reusable smoothie bag will also work a treat. If you’ve got an older kid, then chuck a water bottle in the freezer overnight and take it out in the morning so the ice slowly melts.
9. STEP OUT SAFELY
Suncream on tiny feet means that they’re more likely to slip - especially if you’ve got garden decking or you're by the pool. A pair of KIDLY Label's Jelly Sandals or some splash shoes are a great buy, so they can safely go in and out of the water while keeping their feet protected from a hot patio or burning sand.
10. COOL DOWN BEFORE BEDTIME
Although hot weather can get us all excited, try NOT to do too much during the day and leave more wind-down time before bed. A tepid or cool bath will help kids unwind too. And keep bedclothes to a minimum. Standing a big bottle of frozen water in a saucepan or bowl in your child's room will keep the air cooler as it melts, and the saucepan collects the condensation. #motherinlawtips. If they're hot in the night, a cool or tepid flannel on their face and neck can help settle them back down.
So there you have it. Our top 10 hacks for keeping them safe in sunny and hot weather. And remember, if you need any more guidance, our Live Chat Team is always here to help, from 9am to 5pm weekdays (apart from bank holidays). Just hit that purple button, bottom right.