Stay cool in the heat
Last week we discussed how to make the most of wild swimming with little ones. And as the UK heatwave looks set to continue, this week we’re sharing some more tips on enjoying the sun outdoors safely.
So, whether you’re a sunseeker or you’re counting down the days to September, here are some ways to get outdoors without getting frazzled this summer:
Ice, ice baby
Ice is our friend in hot weather. If you’re out for a day trip, freeze water bottles or add ice cubes so you have something cold to drink at lunchtime.
Homemade ice lollies, either using silicone moulds or simply freezing a juice/water mix into ice cubes are also a big favourite with kids. You can freeze berries or other fruit into them too. Children love creating their own (though the wait for them to freeze can feel like an eternity!).
And if you’re sitting in the garden with access to a socket, placing a tub of ice in front of a fan helps to disperse cool air.
The saying goes ‘Only mad dogs and Englishmen are out in the midday sun.’ But there’s no reason to abandon picnicking. Simply switch your meal – breakfast picnics are far more unusual and are likely to delight the children as a change in routine.
Take fruit, yoghurt pots or croissants outside and enjoy the warmth before it gets too sweltering. Evening meals are likely to be a little cooler than lunchtime too. If you schedule your outdoor time for these cooler parts of the day, you can keep sheltered during the fiercest sun.
If you are outside in the heat, make sure shade is at hand. Woodlands are a great destination as the tree canopy is likely to keep things cooler than in the open air. Seek out the trees at your local park too.
And if you can’t find any shade, try creating your own by building a den – out of sticks or simply using chairs and blankets. Lay down a picnic mat, and enjoy reading in the shade together.
While it might be tempting to wear as little as possible, children are likely to be safer in the heat if they’re wearing long, loose, light-coloured clothing. Light colours will reflect rather than absorb the sun’s rays, so feel cooler.
Add a high factor sunscreen and a wide-brimmed sun hat and you’re set. Keep outdoor play sessions fairly short, before coming in for a break and cool down, and remember to carry lots of water to keep everyone hydrated through the day.
What are your favourite ways to stay cool in the heat? Is there anything we’ve missed? Let us know on Facebook!