Summer is coming and it’s heating up out there. As the temperature rises, it’s time to shed those layers, get some sun, and enjoy the beauty that comes with this amazing time of year! We’re sure that both you and your kiddos are excited for this season’s activities. But, though the summer heat comes with lots of fun, it also comes with some potential dangers. When the temperature outside is 90°F or higher, your child could be at risk of heat exhaustion, dehydration, heat stroke, and heat cramps—not to mention sunburns. And, though these health issues can happen to anyone, children and the elderly are at the highest risk. So finding ways to stay cool while doing your summer activities is really important! To help you and your family have a fun and safe summer, we’re sharing tips on how to beat the heat in these hot months! 

How to Beat the Heat in the Hot Months

Keep them hydrated! (Make it fun if you have to!) 

First up, keep everyone hydrated during these hot days. Your kids will be sweating a lot as the sun is beating down. Fluids and electrolytes need to be replenished to avoid dehydration and heat stress. So, push as many fluids as possible, especially when they’re playing outside. And don’t forget that you need to stay hydrated, too!

If your child isn’t a big water drinker, make staying hydrated fun. You can do this by making hydrating popsicles with some water content or getting them their own hydration backpack! You could also create a fun drink station with a large jug, a portable dispenser, and some yummy flavoring. Whatever you do, just make sure you have plenty of liquids available to keep the whole family hydrated.  

Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day. 

When you look outside and see that it’s overcast, don’t let it fool you. Indirect sun exposure doesn’t mean that the temperatures aren’t rising. Your child could still be at risk of heat-related complications. Additionally, clouds don’t block all the sun’s dangerous UV rays, so getting a sunburn on a cloudy day is still a possibility, especially if your child is fair-skinned. 

If it’s cloudy, still keep an eye on the temperature and make sure your kids stay rested and hydrated. And even if you can’t see the sun, don’t skip that sunblock every few hours! 

Eat chilly foods. 

Staying hydrated is important to maintain a healthy body temperature. But did you know that eating chilled foods can help keep your family cool this summer, too? It’s as easy as some fruits and vegetables! Think about offering snow cones, popsicles, fresh or frozen fruit, and raw veggies, salads, sushi, or smoothies. YUM! 

But keep in mind that one cold delicacy you might want to avoid is ice cream. We know, counterintuitive, right?! The sugar, fat, and protein take a while to digest, so it doesn’t help lower your body temperature. Instead, it can actually raise it as your body works hard to process this sweet treat. Grab one of the other cold options listed above for an afternoon snack on the next scorching summer day. 

Include a water activity in your outdoor play. 

If the kiddos want to play outside and you’re worrying about the heat, consider adding water to their outdoor play! And this doesn’t have to involve a trip to the neighborhood pool or a fancy water park. You could simply give them filled spray bottles with cool water or cold water, or let them play with the hose. Go old school and let them run through a sprinkler in the yard. Or, you could go big with a splash pad dance party or a water balloon battle with the neighbor kids! Those cold showers of water will keep your kids entertained and safe. Just remember that they’ll still get sweaty, even when playing in the water–fluids are still important!

Wear UPF clothes and sunscreen. 

We already talked a bit about ensuring your kids have sunscreen on. Even on a cloudy day, it’s important to make sure their exposed skin is regularly coated in sunscreen. But kids should also be wearing light-colored, loose outfits that reflect the sun’s rays rather than absorbing them. Or, they should be in UPF clothing that can be more tight-fitting but is specially designed to reduce the effect of the sun’s harmful rays. No matter what the day holds, make sure to check the forecast, dress appropriately, and prepare for consistent sun protection. 

Go out in the morning and evening—not the afternoon.

The hottest point of the day is the afternoon. In order to get the vitamin D your family needs without risking too much sun exposure–and sunburn, heat exhaustion, and dehydration– avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day. Instead, try to plan your outdoor activities in the early morning, morning or evening when it’s a few degrees cooler than those peak afternoon hours. If you’re worried about your kids wanting to go out in the afternoon, try to set a routine so they know exactly what to expect for the day and when they’ll be allowed to head outside and keep a few indoor activities ready to occupy them during the hottest hours. This way, they won’t be begging to go on a walk at 2:30 in the afternoon – no thanks!

Keep them cool in the car seat, too. 

Things like appointments and grocery trips do not take a break from the heat. Most of the time, you’ll still have to run those pesky errands while breaking a serious sweat. Remember, though, if you have your kiddo with you, do not leave them in your hot car! Not only do temperatures rise quickly in a hot car, but a child’s body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult’s. This makes leaving children in the car very dangerous!

But, what about hot weather tips just for the ride? We’ve got you covered there, too! First up, make sure your child is covered where those hot buckle tongues could be touching their skin. Also, keep a lightweight sunshade in the window and make sure that AC is cranked to quickly cool the car! Even consider laying a cooling towel on the warm car seat fabric.

If you want more ideas on how to escape high temperatures on car rides, you can check out our blog post on heat and car seats. You can also find a variety of our favorite summer products for keeping that heat under control on our Amazon Shop. Check them out to be even more prepared for your next warm season!

The best car seat covers? NONE!

Temperatures are rising, and while it may be tempting to drape a cover over your baby’s car seat to shade them from the sun, think again.

Placing a blanket or cover over the top of the car seat or stroller cover can create a “greenhouse effect,” limiting airflow around the child and causing temperatures to rise to dangerous levels.

  • Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104°
  • A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107°

I put 4 common ways we see car seats covered to the temperature test in full sun on an 87° day. All of the covered options were over 107° after 30 minutes.

Just say no to covers!

This is all the more reason to limit your baby’s time in their car seat when outside of the car. Plus, when you cover the baby seat, you no longer have a line of sight to your baby, and that is a must when out and about. Instead, dress the baby in protective and lightweight clothing, use the car seat or stroller’s built-in canopy, and direct a fan towards them. Just remember to remove the fan before you transition back to the car!

What to do on hot days 

Sometimes a hot summer day is just too hot, even first thing in the morning. So if you’re feeling like it’s just too risky to be outside, find something fun to do inside! You could go somewhere like a museum, movie theater, or the local library. You could also take advantage of a local kids’ gym or indoor play space! Or, you could just stay home and have a fun family day in the air conditioning. Try baking, playing a card game, or building a fort! Your kid(s) will quickly forget they wanted to go outside with so many fun indoor options.

Have a fun and safe summer by keeping your kids cool, hydrated, and protected during the hot months!

Being outside is good for us. And I am sure we’d all love the kids to take a break from the TV or tablet and, instead, get some Vitamin D. But these hot months pose a big risk to little bodies. So take measures to keep your kiddos cool as you start making all of your summer plans. Make sure they’re drinking lots of water, keeping their body temperature down, and staying protected from the sun’s harmful rays. With these tips, instead of being a hot mess, you’ll be the cool mom. Here at Safe in the Seat, we wish you a summer season full of memories and exciting outdoor fun.

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