Babies and young children are very sensitive to hot weather, so it is important to watch them closely and stop them from getting dehydrated or too hot. If you think your child is unwell due to hot weather, seek medical attention.
Follow these tips if you have babies and/or young children:
Avoid taking them out in the hottest part of the day.
If you need to go out, protect their skin with loose-fitting clothing and a hat, and use baby or toddler formula sunscreen and keep them in the shade where possible.
In hot weather, breast-fed babies may need extra breast-feeds – if they are under 6 months it is not recommended to give them water. Bottle-fed babies may need extra feeds and can be offered small amounts of cooled boiled water as needed.
Make sure young children have regular drinks throughout the day. Water is best. Avoid giving them sugary or fizzy drinks.
Dress them in light, loose-fitting clothing, like singlets and nappies, or loose tops.
Choose the coolest place in your home for them to sleep, making sure air can circulate around their bassinet or cot.
To help babies and young children cool down, sponge them with lukewarm – not cold – water.
It can get up to 15 degrees hotter under the canopy of an enclosed pram. If you need to cover the pram to keep your baby shaded, use a large canopy, or a mesh or perforated sun shield designed for strollers, instead of a blanket. This will ensure adequate airflow and allow you to still see your baby.
Regularly check on them.
Never leave them in a parked car.
Children and teenagers
Children and teenagers can get hotter more quickly than adults and are at greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness.
Prior to puberty, they sweat less than adults making it harder for them to cool off.
Acne mediations may cause sun sensitivity, so talk with your child’s doctor about medications and hot weather.
Follow these tips if you have children and/or teenagers:
Ensure they drink lots of water and avoid drinks high in caffeine and sugar (like cola).
Encourage them to wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing and a hat that covers the back of their neck.
Limit outdoor activities in extremely hot weather. Breaks should be taken every 15 to 30 minutes during outdoor activities to have a drink and cool down.
Make sure they wear SPF30+ sunscreen, reapplied regularly, especially when going in the water.
Make sure your child understands the health risks during hot weather, and know what to do if they feel unwell in the heat, especially if they’re away from home.
Teach your child to:
stop playing, move to a cooler place, sit down in a shady spot, and drink water if they get too hot
tell someone if they feel unwell without being upset or embarrassed about doing so
when going outside, always bring water, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a small towel or flannel to wet and cool down with.
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