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Staying safe in summer

Sydney summer means some very hot days and warm nights. We spoke to the nurse manager of Child and Family Health Services Sydney Local Health District, Paola Gordon, about how your family can beat the heat and stay cool this summer.

Fight the flu and stay healthy this winter   Fight the flu and stay healthy this winter  

“Babies and children can easily overheat in hot weather so it is important that you help them stay cool” said the nurse manager of Child and Family Health Services, Paola Gordon.

Babies and young children are not very good at adjusting to weather changes like adults are. This is why they can get very hot and find it hard to cool down.

During these hotter months, there are lots of things you can do to help your child stay safe and cool at home and when you are out. Here are some of our suggestions:

Drink lots of fluids

“One of the most important things you can do is to make sure your baby has enough fluids,” said Paola.

This means that babies will need breastmilk more often than usual. One of the ways you can tell that your baby has had enough water is if they have six to eight pale, wet nappies in 24 hours.

For older children, water is the best drink, especially when it is hot. Make sure your child drinks lots of water during the day to help them stay hydrated.

It is also important that you drink enough water during the day, especially if you are breastfeeding.

Dress for the weather

“No beanies, jumpers, socks or blankets in hot weather. Babies and children should be in light, loose clothing. They can even get away with just a nappy when it’s really hot,” said Paola.

If you are going outside in the heat make sure your child is wearing a hat and sunscreen.

Avoid the heat

Try to plan your activities in the early morning or late afternoon, when it is cooler.

If you do have to go outside make sure you take special care to keep your little one safe and cool.

  • Never leave your baby or child in the car
  • Never cover a baby capsule in the car with a rug or towel. Only use sun shades on the windows
  • Partially cover your baby’s pram with a light cloth to provide shade and allow enough air to get  through

What if the power or water stops working?

Hot weather can sometimes cause power outages or water shortages.

Here are some tips for staying cool if this happens:

  • Keep drink bottles full of water in the fridge
  • Wrap a cold pack (or even a frozen bag of peas) in a tea towel. This can be used as an ice pack to stay cool
  • Take a trip to the local shops – they are often indoors and air conditioned
  • Go to a friend or family member’s house that has power or water
  • Visit the local aquatic centre for a swim
  • Keep your curtains and blinds closed to keep the heat outside

You can also report the power outage to your energy provider and ask when it is likely to be restored.

For more information about keeping your child safe and cool during hot weather click on the factsheet below or visit https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat/Pages/babies-children-hot-weather.aspx

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Page Last Updated: 18 January, 2019