Baby's First Year · Parenting · Pregnancy

Keep cool in the summer heat

Toddler enjoying a drink while his carer/ watches.

Heat-related illnesses can be very serious. With another summer heatwave on the way, it’s important to make a plan to keep your family cool and healthy. Infants, young children and pregnant individuals are at higher risk for heat-related illness, especially if they are dehydrated.

Here are some tips to help your family Beat the Heat:

  1. Stay hydrated – Encourage everyone in your family to drink more fluids. If you are breastfeeding your baby, allow them to breastfeed more often.
  2. Dress for the weather – Dress in light-coloured, breathable clothing on hot days. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat keeps you cool and protects your eyes from the sun.
  3. Play in the shade – Stay cool and safe in the summer sun by moving into the shade. When using a stroller, create shade using a stroller canopy or breathable sunshade, instead of a blanket. Blankets can trap heat around your child, causing them to overheat.  
  4. Take breaks from the heat – Move to an indoor space with air conditioning, particularly during the hottest times of the day, which is usually between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  5. Find spaces to keep cool – Visit a local pool, splash pad, library or community centre.

Never leave your baby or child alone in a parked car, even for just a minute.

Babies and young children are much more sensitive to heat than adults. The temperature inside a car can reach more than 50°C, even when the outside temperature is much cooler. A hot car can cause heat stress, severe dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death.

  • Always check the backseat of your vehicle before locking it.
  • Set-up reminders, such as placing your wallet/phone in the back seat or putting a child’s toy in the front seat.
  • Lock your car doors and trunk when the car is not in use so a child cannot climb in.

Watch for signs of dehydration and heat-related illness, such as:

  • Tiredness or decreased activity/play
  • Extreme thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Fewer tears when crying
  • Decreased urination / fewer wet diapers
  • Fast, irregular breathing and / or heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting

Stay informed about weather in your community!Download the WeatherCAN app to receive alerts about upcoming weather events including heat warnings.

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