Beat the heat: How to prepare your kids for brutal UAE summers

Did you know that your child’s body heats up 5 times as much as yours? Help protect your kids from heat-related illnesses and discomfort through these simple tips.

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Rida Jaleel

Published: Tue 9 May 2023, 10:48 AM

Temperatures are rising in the country, and while the pleasant weather has been nice, you can begin tucking those jackets back into the wardrobes. Along with scorching temperatures come heat strokes, sunburns, and irritable kids as our bodies struggle to maintain a stable internal temperature. The effects of the heat might be worse on your children as they are bound to be more active than you are. This summer, manage the heat for both you and your child through these simple pointers:

Stay hydrated

Not enough can be said about this tip. The most important thing you can do to protect your body from the heat is to stay hydrated. Children need to drink at least 6 to 8 cups (8 ounces each) of water each day. Since they might not remember, make sure to remind them to take that drink constantly. Leave bottles of water in different locations around the house or make a fun game of it to make sure that they’re not dehydrated. Avoid giving them caffeinated beverages or excessively sweetened fruit juices. There is no better stand-in for water. Teach them that you don’t necessarily need to feel thirsty to have a drink of water.

Sunscreen is prime

Experts suggest that kids – across skin tones – need to wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. While this rule applies to all, this is especially vital for children as they tend to spend more time outdoors. Your lips might also get sunburnt, so invest in a lip balm with SPF!

Dress appropriately

The kind of clothing your child wears has a lot to do with how comfortable they remain over the day. Make sure to clothe them in loose comfortable clothing made of breathable fabrics. Choose lightweight, light-coloured clothes and opt for a hat for those outdoor picnics on especially sunny days.

Materials that are summer-friendly: Cotton, linen, Khadi, Chiffon, Chambray and flannel.

Materials to avoid during summers: Denim, polyester, rayon, acrylic, nylon, etc.

Beware of peak heat in the UAE

The peak heat hours in the Middle East are typically between noon and 4:00 pm. During this time, it's best to stay indoors in an air-conditioned environment. If you need to be outside, try to wear a hat and stay in the shade as much as possible.

Prep their bodies for the heat

The first few days of intense summer might cause great discomfort to your children. Their skin might flare up in sunburns, and heat boils as a result. Give them cool showers once or twice a day to help with this feeling. With the heat comes insects. Lather your children in skin-friendly insect repellent if they’re spending time outdoors.

Feed them summer-friendly foods

If your child feels hungrier during the summer, don’t be surprised. Research has established a positive relationship between sun rays and increased appetites. Feed them light meals that are also filling. For those little ones who just won’t drink enough water, feed them cooling foods with a high water content.

Foods to eat this summer: Watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, berries, pineapples, coconut water, barley.

Foods to avoid this summer: Caffeinated drinks, soda, milkshakes, pickles, excessively spicy/salty food, etc.

Heat in the Middle East might be hard on your little ones, but it is not unmanageable. Make sure to apply the basics of summer preparation for your kids and give them regular breaks if they’re playing or spending time outdoors. Give them plenty of water, cool showers, and dress and feed them right!

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