How to Keep the Kids Cool Outside this Summer

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

 

While your kids enjoy having fun in the sun, you worry about them overheating. But with a few simple tricks and routines, you can make sure your little ones stay cool and hydrated, no matter how hard they play.

Keep the fluids flowing

Because of their size, children are much more sensitive to small fluctuations in fluids, so they need to drink regularly. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that children drink six glasses of water on an average day, but they can lose up to half a litre of fluid per hour when they're running around. And on a sunny day, they'll need to top up their hydration levels even more. Water might seem the obvious solution, but children usually drink more if you sneak H2O into diluted squash or juice. Plus, according to the NHS, water can wash away your kids' mineral levels if they're low already, so sometimes sugar-free squash is actually the healthier option.

Don't overdo the diuretics

Diuretics are basically substances that make you need to wee. While it's really important to have some in your diet, on a hot day it can be more of a hindrance than a help. Caffeinated fizzy drinks are some of the worst culprits, and potassium, found in cranberry and pineapple juice, is also one to watch for.

Chill with frozen snack breaks

Kids won't always want to stop for a drink, but you can cool them down with frozen treats too. Getting inventive with ice lollies is a great option, so try freezing juice or mixing lemonade with crushed berries. Frozen grapes or raspberries also make tasty snacks, and are delicious alternatives to ice cubes.

Dress for the occasion

Balancing staying cool with shielding skin from nasty UV rays is a tricky business. As a rule, it's sensible to opt for loose, light, breathable fabrics. Tight, synthetic garments don't let sweat evaporate, which will definitely get the little ones hot and bothered. Persuade them to wear a hat or headband to keep the sun out of their eyes and hair off their necks.

Enjoy water fights

Fire up the water pistols and fill the balloons, because splash-tastic battles are one of the best ways of cool down in the sun. For something less competitive, try water slides or holding the hose to create a jet of water. You can use for water limbo - that's a game nobody will mind losing on a hot day! Just make sure the kids play sensibly to avoid accidents, breakages or any other home insurance nightmares.

Set up shade stations

When children are determined to stay outside, create a shady retreat where they can take a break from the glare. Tents, Wendy houses, forts and tree houses will all turn the shade into part of their play.

Refuel with light meals

When meal times come around, it's not just the cook who'll benefit from a light salad. A cooked meal will immediately overheat kids coming in from a hot day's play, and protein-rich foods take a lot more energy to digest, meaning their stomachs will produce even more heat to get the job done. A simple salad, sandwich or selection of summery dips with carrot, cucumber and pittas will be much easier on sensitive tummies.

Sources

www.parents.com/kids/safety/outdoor/keeping-kids-hydrated/#page=5
www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dehydration/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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