Keeping Your Cool

In which our reluctant hero gets a bit under the collar.

In typical British fashion, the weather this week has taken us all a little off guard. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Floods. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Heatwave. More heatwave. Followed by a hot spell. And that was just Monday.

Everything has been a struggle. Mowing the lawn, catching the bus, movement as a general concept and simply getting to sleep have all involved a mop of the brow and several “uffs.”

Keeping our little people at a comfortable temperature has been a battle since they were born. One winter and one summer baby presented very difficult challenges…

  • Are the extra hat and fourth cardigan really necessary?
  • Speedos over a nappy is fine, right?
  • Sleep suit or not? What about a blanket?
  • How do you cool a three-week old down on a scorching day when they’re not supposed to drink beer?
  • Does 90℅ of heat really get lost through your head? (Clue: The answer is no…)
  • Is chucking a bucket of ice into the pram ok?
  • Is putting a cover over the push chair sensible provided that you baste well and keep turning?
  • Is it ok to leave children in the car for forty minutes on a sunny day, while we nip to Next?

Aarghh!

We never seem to get it right, no matter what we do.

I’m probably over worried about our two burning and sit poised with the factor fifty any time the sun pops out for more than ten minutes from February onwards. I don’t really feel the cold so perhaps the risk of them freezing should be more of a concern. Snow joking.

But despite the paranoia, we got caught out last weekend after spending a day outside in weather that started off murky and finished brightly. It was only when it got to teeth and bed time that I spotted that dad, son and daughter were sporting identical comedy nose and cheek war paint. Oops.

How long should you go out in the sun for anyway? Half an hour of midday sun is enough to get fried, but this week the BBC were reporting that parents should give vitamin supplements as children (and grown-ups for that matter) aren’t getting enough vitamin D. That you get from the sun. You can’t win.

As a society, we’re more aware of the risks during summertime these days and, consequently, the kids don’t know that they’re born. Again. Fact.

Yes, the car interior gets to temperatures hot enough to cook a naan bread on the door trim, but once in we have one of the genuine wonders of the modern age to help. Air conditioning. A bona-fide miracle hidden beneath a little button with a snowflake on. No such luxury for the 1970’s generation who frequently received third degree burns from sitting on vinyl covered car seats in shorts. Ouch.

Our three-year old has to take a hat and a bottle of sunscreen with her name on to nursery each afternoon in case that she plays out. When we were that age, a liberal amount of protection would be slapped on in May (if anyone remembered) with the expectation that a top up coat would probably be needed in late September. The savings made on sun tan cream soon disappeared purchasing industrial size containers of Nivea “After Sun” that we would jump into to help extinguish the flames before bed.

So, what should we do as parents to combat the heat? Not a clue I’m afraid. Think about stuff for a bit, do what seems sensible and hope for the best I guess. Like we do with everything else.

Or maybe you could have a gander at this interesting and informative post put together by NCT about sun safety for children?

I for one would have benefited in seeing it earlier in the week. Never mind the kids, it would have saved me the trouble of tapping out a blog on a sweltering train when I could have been watching the new series of Mr Robot instead.

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