Keeping cool: Tips for kids & babies

Temperature control

Given the weather we are currently experiencing let’s talk temperature control in regard to keeping your children cool in hot temperatures.  If you want more advice about this or any other child safety issues, I’m running an introduction to Paediatric First Aid on August 14th and 21st. (And it’s run over 2 mornings to give you extra time to absorb all the information.

Normal body temperature is 36 º to 37 º Celsius (or about 96.8 º to 98.6 º Fahrenheit); You are considered feverish if oral temperature is above 100º F (37.8 C). So between 100 º F and normal is considered to be a low grade fever.

Houses in more temperate zones are built to withstand heat, ours to withstand the cold.  The result being that the outside temp of +25 degrees means your bedroom probably feels like an oven.

Small children may have been more fretful, wakeful, cranky and generally out of sorts the last few weeks especially at night time?

Simple steps to lower  body temperatures to normal.

Bathing or sponging in lukewarm water may bring their temperature down.  If they are really feeling the heat, a damp muslin cloth draped over a leg or shoulder of an adult can really help you to drift off to sleep.

Have your child wear light clothing and use a light cover or sheet — overdressing can make body temperature go up.  If you normally swaddle your baby, consider using a lighter cloth and leaving off vests and baby-grows, just a nappy and a light cloth to swaddle.

Memory foam mattresses are very comfy but can keep the heat close to the body, so consider taking them off the bed for a little while to see if that aids sleep.  Duvets and blankets can also be stored away in favour of cotton sheets.

Fresh air

Leaving windows open where practical is always good to let the cooler night air in.  If you are worried about insects biting, I have found that mosquitoes and other small biting insects don’t like breezes so having an electric fan on a low setting really helps to prevent the bites.  I survived the summer in Australia using this technique, and the nights I forgot the fan I got bitten.  I know the sound of the fan can be annoying but I’d rather that than coping with the bites.

Lots of Water

Lots of water! It’s sometimes hard to get kids to drink water, so water down fruit juices, you can always use this in ice cube trays and ice pop moulds, a great and cheap way to keep them cool and hydrated.  For adults don’t forget that tea and coffees are diuretics even if they are iced versions, you need to increase the amount of water you are drinking.  Unfortunately the ice cold beer is also a diuretic, this is why water helps prevent your hangover, that extra pint of water you take to prevent a hangover?  You need to double it in hot weather.

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