Ten ways to keep babies and children cool and safe during the heatwave

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Britain is hotter than Barbados today as the temperature soars.

Experts believe that whopping 39C weather could make it the hottest August ever.

If you’re aiming to have fun in the sun this weekend, remember to keep babies and young children cool and safe.

Little ones are far more likely to become ill during very hot weather.

Their health can be seriously affected by dehydration, heatstroke and sunburn.

To make sure they stay feeling tip-top, make sure they drink lots of fluids, apply sunscreen every two hours and keep them cool.

Here are some of the best ways to keep little ones cool and safe and some things to avoid:

1. Don’t cover the buggy

Parents often put a blanket or cover on prams believing it to keep baby safe out of the sun.

In fact, doing this heats up the pram like a furnace.

Dr Svante Norgren, a paediatrician in Stockholm, told the newspaper Svenska Dabgladet : “It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos.”

The paper did a test on a buggy’s temperature and found that without a cover it reached 22C, whereas with a cover it rocketed to 34C.

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2. Do keep the house cool

If keeping your little one indoors make sure the house doesn’t get too hot.

Open doors and windows to ventilate – including the loft hatch.

Block out sun using blinds or curtains and pop fans throughout the house.

3. Don’t leave them in the car

It sounds obvious, but 40 babies die of hyperthermia in the US each year.

So, do not leave them in the car alone for any amount of time.

Plus, try to limit long drives.

4. Do dress them appropriately

Make sure baby is wearing very light weight clothing.

If the room is over 25C then a nappy and a vest will do when inside.

A baby grow or shorts and a t-shirt will work if the temperature is below this.

If they are out in the sun, make sure their skin is covered but that the fabric is breathable and light.

5. Check their bedding

Young babies should not be covered in any kind of bedding during hot spells.

Dress them for the room temperature.

For young children, make sure they are only covered in a cotton sheet – no duvet!

Also, remove waterproof mattress protectors as they hold heat.

The NHS advises : “Keep nightwear and bedclothes to a minimum.

“If your baby kicks or pushes off the covers during the night, consider putting them in just a nappy with a single well-secured sheet that will not work loose and cover their face or get entangled during the night.”

6. Put ice in the room

Put a bowl of ice in front of the fan to cool the room down as it melts.

This will help to keep kiddos cool.

You can also put bottles of frozen water in the room at night as they will keep the temperature cooler throughout, reports The Sun.

7. Keep water in the fridge

There’s nothing as refreshing as cold water in the heat.

Keep a jug or carafe of tap water in the fridge for children to drink from.

Babies under six months should not be given water, if they are breastfeeding they may want to feed more than usual.

8. Dab a flannel on their head

A cold flannel will help to cool children down.

Dab it on their forehead and hands to cool them down if they’re feeling too hot.

9. Use a paddling pool

It’s better to keep young kids out of the sun where possible.

But some fun in a paddling pool will cool them down and let them have some fun in the fresh air.

You can add some ice to the water if it’s becoming too hot.

And remember to reapply suncream frequently – and make sure you have a waterproof formula.

Don’t forget the tops of their ears!

10. Check the temperature of the room

Before putting your child down for the night, check the temperature of the room.

If it is above 20C then consider using some of the tips above to cool the room down.

Keep the blinds down during the day to limit how hot the room gets.

The NHS said: “A nursery thermometer will help you monitor the temperature of your baby's room.

“Your baby will sleep most comfortably when their room is between 16C and 20C.”

  • Heatwave
  • Parenting

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