OK Our Kids header

Safety in our UK heat wave

by Tony Churchill

Safety in our UK heat wave

The summer of 2018 is proving to be an absolute scorcher. Some are bound to love these incredibly high temperatures that we are experiencing in the UK. Some, on the other hand, maybe not so much.

The last time we had such dry hot weather was in the summer of 1976. The BBC reported that ‘It was so serious the government of the day introduced a Drought Act, and even appointed a Minister for Drought, Denis Howell, whose job was to encourage the public to use less water’.

deckchairs on beach #sunsafety #okourkids

Luckily we don’t have the Drought Act enforced (at the moment) and it’s been lovely to see some children enjoying fun ways to stay cooler with water.

Swimming

On the subject of water, please be water aware and mindful of the potential dangers of getting into difficulty in the water.

Sunscreen

There is a plethora of information on sunscreen out there, the various brands, how often to apply so we won’t give our opinion on that. It goes without saying that anyone who cares for a child should take every precaution they can to ensure your little ones don’t get sunburned. So a high factor sun cream with at least 4 stars UVA and UVB protection and wear loose cotton clothing, even on cloudy days.

sun rays #sunsafety #ukheatwave #okourkids

Accessories

Having the sun on your head and in your eyes can be uncomfortable, and be the cause of headaches. It’s a good opportunity to accessorise with stylish wide brim hats, and UV protected sunglasses. The bigger the better!

Keep hydrated

Did you know that once you are feeling thirsty, you’re probably dehydrated? Try to be conscious of the amount of fluids, ideally water, you drink. The general recommendation is about 1.5 litres of water should be drunk per day.

Babies in buggies

Babies are not able to regulate their body temperature like adults. It is equally important to not leave a baby exposed in direct sunlight as it is to not cover their pushchair with a blanket. Studies have found that the inside of a buggy can reach nearly 40 degrees Celsius when covered with a blanket / towel with the outside weather condition at a sunny 23 degrees. However, a loosely draped light cotton muslin is better than no sun protection at all for your little one’s skin, and always keep a close eye on them.

shady tree #sunsafety #okourkids

Shaded areas

If you feel you need to get out and about, then a gentle stroll in the woods can feel a lot cooler during a heatwave. Towns and open spaces without shade tend to be hotter.

In the car

It’s quite amazing how quickly the temperature can rise inside a car, especially if you have air conditioning, once you’ve turned the engine off and got out. A couple of celebrity chefs have demonstrated their cooking to show just how hot it gets inside a car, and fatalities have occurred globally with young children suffering from heatstroke due to being left in a hot car.

A couple of other tips include :

  • Close the curtains / blinds / shutters where the sun is coming through the window
  • Keep the upstairs windows of a house open, as long as it is safe to do so.

Having trouble sleeping?

Keep bowls of water in some rooms to evaporate and cool the air. Alternatively, place bottles of iced water in front of fans so that the circulating air is cooler.

family #sunsafety #ukheatwave #okourkids

Your community

Take extra care of the vulnerable in your local community, the very young, the very old, the ill and the frail who may not be able to regulate their body temperature as well as fit and healthy people.