We moan when it's cold, we moan when it's hot.. But that's British weather for you hey? As these mini heatwaves are rare in England, it's great for the tan and BBQ's, but quite a worry for parents as children and babies can't handle it like we can.
Newborns can overheat extremely quickly, and this can potentially lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Older babies can become restless, develop sun stroke and of course get burnt, much much quicker than an adult will. Check your children for sweat on the back of their necks, redness and rashes as these are early signs that your little one is starting to overheat.
So here's some tips of how to make sure your baby stays cool in this heat.
1 - Create a breeze
Whether it be from a fan or the window, get some air flowing in the rooms. If you're having your windows wide open, make sure curtains and blinds are drawn (but not closed), so the direct sunlight isn't coming through but the breeze will be.. But remember to consider older children when windows are open wide. Fans can sometimes just circulate hot air, so try putting bottles of ice cold water in front of them to cool the air. It's also important to keep your house ventilated so hot air can escape.
2 - Water water water, in all forms
Whether it be a little pool outside in a shaded area, drinking water, or cool baths/ showers. Water is a key factor when the sun is out. If you do have the pool in the garden, make sure it's not in direct sunlight. You can still develop heatstroke in the shade, so I wouldn't keep them in it too long, and of course have the obvious suncream and hats. It's also advised not to go out in the heat between 11am-3pm. Make sure your baby is drinking more water than usual, and that it's cool and not luke warm. Breast fed babies will stay hydrated on milk. Water can also be dabbed on clammy areas of the body for a quick cool down by using cold damp flannels.
3 - Keep Ice and water in your child's bedroom
Keeping large bottles of frozen water in the corner of your babies bedroom will gradually melt overnight, leaving cool air in the room. You can also do this in the day but they'll melt a lot quicker. If your child's bedroom is too hot, consider temporarily switching rooms for the night.
4 - Dress your baby for the weather
No doubt all rooms of the house are still hot, even with windows open and fans on. Keep babies in just a nappy if appropriate, or very thin loose cotton vests. Remember that during the night it will also be very hot and muggy, so keep any thick bedding or sleep sacks off them. Make sure to check their temperature regularly in case the heat does drop and they get chilly.. It is England after all.
5 - Check your babies temperature often throughout the day
I'd advise having an accurate thermometer so you are sure on the temperature which will give you peace of mind that your baby is dressed appropriately. If you do not have a thermometer, you can check your baby by feeling the back of their neck. Hands and feet are not an accurate representation of body temperature as they get cooler than the rest of the body. If you are concerned about how hot your baby is, try some of the tips from above, and if you are still worried, seek medical advice.