They say that a little bit of summer is what the whole year is about, and frankly, no childhood is complete without summer memories. Summer is all the more enjoyable for children if they can keep cool in the day’s heat.
In this article, we’ve got five ways for you to keep your kids chilled during their summer play!
The health benefits from having fun in the sun
Kids need daylight exposure in order to thrive. Especially for growing children, sunlight helps their body synthesise vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed for strong, healthy bones, boosted immune system and calcium absorption. Vitamin D sufficiency protects children from illnesses and other health deficiencies.
We all love a good dose of sunshine and play under the summer skies, so it’s quite important to be able to do it safely. Before arranging outdoor activities with your kids like swimming, park play or picnics, do bear in mind that the sun is at its peak (meaning the hottest time of the day) generally between 10 am to 4 pm. It might be best to schedule your outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon. And, of course, never forget sunscreen!
As a rule, you can use sunscreen on children aged six months or older. Re-apply sunscreen every two to three hours, most especially if your child is engaged in water activities. Remember to use sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30.
The joys of summer also come with risks. One such risk common for children is heat exhaustion. Active children can be at risk for heat illness, and this can result in heat stroke and exhaustion. Children are more susceptible to heat exhaustion than adults as their smaller bodies have a slower rate of acclimatisation to the heat and a lower rate of sweating.
Some signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness or weakness, increased sweating and thirst, an elevated body temperature, cool and clammy skin, goosebumps, muscle cramps, irritability and nausea or vomiting.
If your child happens to be overweight, has an existing sunburn and or illness, they will have a higher risk of heat exhaustion.
If you suspect that your child is suffering from heat exhaustion, the first thing you should do is bring them to a cool and shaded place. Get them away from the sun immediately. Have them slowly drink cool fluids that contain salt, like sports drinks, in order to restore energy. You should also apply a cold wet towel to their skin or, better yet, use children’s ice packs like this set from Magic Gel.
How to control your child’s temperature in hot weather
Before your child even gets to the point of heat exhaustion, it’s important to be able to keep their body temperature stable. Here are some helpful tips to keep your kids cool in hot weather.
1. Keep you house cool
Heat exhaustion can also occur indoors, but, don’t worry, this tip does not pertain to keeping an air conditioner on the entire day. Especially during the hottest summer days, resist the urge to open windows, curtains or blinds around your house. One of the best ways to maintain coolness inside the house is to keep the cold night in by shutting all possible entryways of the hot day-time air.
When the late afternoon or early evening comes, you can open your windows in order to let the cool breeze in so you can cool things in your house down. Try to open windows or entry ways at both ends of the house so you can get a good cross-breeze. This will get the hot air out of your house, and it is a great way to keep air fresh, cool and moving.
2. Do not overdress your child
Summer is the time for cute, Instagrammable outfits, so we can’t blame you if you want your child best-dressed for the season. However, if you and your child will primarily be at home and you’re not expecting guests, it’s best to make them wear less clothing. When choosing summer wear for your child, be sure to pick ones with breathable fabric. Try to avoid frilly styles with synthetic fabric as they can really be uncomfortable.
The looser the fit, the better as well. This is the time to dress your child for comfort, and not style.
3. Keep them cool as ice
This is an old technique that has worked wonders and kept children cool for many generations. To keep children from overheating, you have to cool them.
Get a strip of fabric, wet it, place it in the fridge to cool and then tie it loosely around your child’s neck. If you have Magic Gel’s Children’s Ice Pack set, you will get two headband-style ice packs that you can easily wrap around their foreheads or sling around their necks. The three smaller packs can be placed in the underarms and joints. It’s important to keep the neck, underarms and major joints cool, as these hold large arteries. When these areas are cooled down, they circulate coolness within the child’s body.
4. Keep your child hydrated
As much as it’s important to keep them cool on the outside, it’s just as crucial to keep your child cool and hydrated from the inside. Keep children’s water bottles ready and filled in the fridge. If your child loves treats, try to freeze a mixture of water and juice in popsicle moulds or in an ice tray, freeze them, and then give it as a cool snack for your child to enjoy.
Dessert and snack time can be simple by hydrating and cooling fruits! Fruits that are rich in water such as watermelon, pineapple, mangoes, strawberries and bananas can be kept in the fridge so that they are extra refreshing. You get to hit two birds in one stone with this as well: your child gets their fruit serving the day while having an icy treat. It’s also a healthier alternative to ice lollies.
5. Keep things low-key
As tempting as it is to keep your kids’ summer schedules filled with sports, play dates and other high-energy itineraries to keep them busy, try to schedule in some slow days as well.
Use stifling hot days to rest. Check temperatures ahead and on days when you know it’s going to be a scorcher and try to schedule “cool” and slow activities like watching a movie in the cinema. You can also plan low-key activities such as a day of crafts and colouring inside the house.
Children’s ice packs can also be a fun, cool way to keep children’s temperatures down while learning. Magic Gel’s Children’s Ice Pack set comes with small ice packs that as shaped in colourful, fun characters. Pop them in the fridge, and use them to play toss or to learn a new skill like juggling. These ice packs are the perfect size for it!
Have you got any fun experiences and tips in keeping your child’s body temperature cool during hot days? Do send us a message, we’d love to hear from you!