It’s unmistakably here. Overnight, while we all slept comfortably in our beds, we woke up one day and realized that summer had descended quietly but surely to settle in for the next six months. While we are lucky enough to live in a region where air conditioning runs efficiently pretty much everywhere, protecting your child from the heat in Gulf countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia is a priority, and new residents to the area especially need to know how to cope with this time of year.
Summer in the Gulf usually starts around April and May; during the day temperatures can climb to over 40°C, but usually cool down in the late afternoons. By June, summer is in full swing day and night, and full on protection and strategy is required!
- Make sure you apply sun protection cream all over your child no matter how old they are if you are going out of the house. Even if you are not going to be directly in sunshine, they need protection from the sun even when they are in the car! There are creams that are specifically for the face, and others specifically for baby’s extra sensitive skin. Whatever cream you choose, the SPF should be a minimum of 20, and in this climate 30+ is more advisable!
- Plan your day so you are not out during the hottest part of the day, between noon and 3pm. If you do need to, as school pick-ups are usually around that time, and baby needs to be with you, a big hat for your child is a must, and if they agree, a stylish pair of sunglasses will protect their eyes from the heat and the sun! There are even specially designed sunglasses for babies up to two years old with a comfortable elastic band to keep the sunglasses from slipping off!
- If you are out and about with your child in their stroller, an all-important sun cover can be placed over the stroller. This needs to be a certain light breathable material to keep your baby comfortable and protected,
- Water, water and more water. While newborns up to six months don’t usually need water, if you feel that your baby’s mouth is particularly dry, wetting their lips with droplets of water might be an idea. Children over 12 months need to be well hydrated, and if you are having problems getting your child to drink water, offering them fun water bottles to drink from might help! Water requirements varies from age to age, and after nine years old, it also differs between boys and girls. On average:
- 1-3 Years old – 4 cups of water/day
- 4-8 Years old – 5 cups/day
- 9-13 Boys – 8 cups/day
- 9-13 Girls – 7 cups/day
Interestingly, children don’t have a highly developed thirst mechanism, which makes them especially vulnerable to becoming dehydrated, so you need to remind your children to drink water throughout the day!
- If your child has an outdoor activity, as well as hat, sunscreen and water, you can send pre-frozen rolled face towels for them to use during their activity.
- Dress your child in cool clothes, but if you are going to a mall, where the A/C can be quite cold, carry with you a light cardigan or blanket so that the extreme change in temperature between outside and inside doesn’t bother your child.
- Hydrating snacks are also a great way to keep your kids cool this summer – cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon and pineapple are just a few tasty but very hydrating fruits you can give your child throughout the day.
- If you have any questions, make sure you consult your family doctor or paediatrician.
Mumzworld’s most important tip – Please do not leave your child unattended in a switched off car at any point!
And while caring for your child in the heat, don’t forget sunscreen, hat and a water bottle for you! Mumz tend to forget themselves sometimes!
Have an enjoyable and safe summer with Mumzworld!