We’re in the middle of a heatwave and for many of the UK’s children. This is a glorious opportunity to experience summer at its best.

Hot weather brings its own problems though and while every Elite nanny is well grounded in how to ensure her charges are protected from the effects of hot weather. We thought this was a timely opportunity to remind nannies and parents that they too, need to take care of themselves in the heat.

Who’s at risk in the hot weather?

While many of us bask in the summer sun. Some people are at more risk than others.

  • Babies and young children.
  • People with long term health conditions relating to the heart, diabetes or circulatory problems.
  • Obese people.
  • Those taking certain medicines.
  • People engaging in vigorous activity.

That last point is a key one. Many a parent or nanny has spent the whole day running around after a couple of excited children. Then sat down in the evening feeling really rather unwell. And there’s really no point taking such good care of the little ones that you suffer yourself.

Basic sun sense

It’s important to drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty. That’s as true for you as for the children you look after. The baseline is 6-8 glasses of water a day, and while an adult needs those glasses to be 250-300 ml. A small child should be drinking a 100-150 ml version. But still the same number of glasses! One of our clever nanny candidates has marked litre water bottles in her house with the hours of the day from 9am to 7pm. Each day she fills everybody’s bottle and then there’s an at-a-glance check on who’s drinking enough water. Mum, Dad and nanny are included and the eagle eyed children love to open the fridge and catch one of the adults failing to hydrate!

Sunscreening: A – Z

We should be wearing sunscreen pretty well every day of the year. This is a great opportunity to explain to children that your moisturiser has an SPF that protects you from the sun. Which is likely to help them understand why they need a sunscreen too. But sun creams are only part of the story. Light coloured and lightweight clothing made of natural fibres (cotton, silk, hemp) also help protect against sunstroke and heatstroke. Again, adult examples are vital to help children understand that wise decisions lead to happy days spent in the sun. If you’re leaving the house in a strappy lycra sun top and tight shorts. Don’t be surprised if children take off their sunhats and fight against wearing sunglasses!

Sun-time food safety

Out for the day? Your healthy snacks need extra attention too. Food that isn’t refrigerated can spoil more quickly than we imagine. A sandwich that’s been carried around in a plastic container for several hours can have got pretty hot. In a sealed container, bacteria can multiply quickly to cause upset stomachs.  Either pack your snacks with ice-packs in a cool box, or buy food when you’re out. Choosing an eatery that keeps its products properly chilled in cabinets.

Stay hydrated, keep your skin safe, wear the right clothing and eat wisely and this heatwave will be memorable for all the right reasons!

If you’d enjoyed this guide, why not check out the Elite Guide to Special Diets?

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