We all know about slip, slop, slap, but there’s a lot more you can do to keep children safe when temperatures are soaring...
DON’T create an oven on wheels
Every year, 5000 kids are rescued from unattended cars in Australia. On a 30 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 60 degrees, with three quarters of the rise occurring in first five minutes alone.
And leaving the windows open a crack makes precious little difference – only about five degrees or less. Kids' temperatures rise three to five times faster than adults, so they can become very ill very quickly.
It’s also illegal, with fines of up to $22,000.
DO give them the cool room
Make sure your child has a reusable bottle of filtered water by their bed in case they’re thirsty. And if it’s really hot and you don’t have air conditioning, let them sleep on a mattress in the coolest room in the house.
READ MORE: Why the new BIBO² is the ultimate water bar
DON’T wait for them to ask
By the time a child is thirsty, they’re already at least three per cent dehydrated so, if they’re running around on a hot day, schedule water breaks every 20 minutes and insist they gulp down a few mouthfuls before they continue. Teens often mistake thirst for hunger so will snack instead of hydrating.
If you have a BIBO water bar, there’s unlimited instant, chilled and purified water on tap all day long.
It’s not just about hydration – water also cools a body down, transports nutrients, aids digestion and improves cognitive function.
DO hide that snag
If you’re having a BBQ, make sure any leftover food is put in the fridge as soon as possible. Kids are always on the lookout for tasty treats like sausages and burgers, but they could become very ill if they eat meat that’s been left out on a hot day for more than four hours.
DON’T pack for a picnic too soon
Even the best eskies can’t cool down hot food enough to prevent bacteria growing. Cook quiches, pies and meat the day before, refrigerate overnight and take plenty of ice packs and frozen bottles of water.
DO be aware of symptoms
Even if they've had a drink, children can still become dehydrated very quickly. If they’re breathing faster than normal, feeling dizzy, complaining of a headache or seem lethargic, then you need to act.
Other signs to look out more include a heartbeat of more than 110 beats per minute and dark urine. If you’re in any doubt, get them to hospital immediately.
READ MORE: The 6 best apps to keep you hydrated
DON’T think tans are healthy
Back in the day, we all loved showing off the deep, brown tan we’d cultivated on our hols or under a sunbed. Kids got sunburnt every summer and we got through enough aftersun to soothe a family of African elephants.
The result? Well, we all know a fair few shriveled seniors, pebble-dashed with sunspots and melanoma scars and canyon-like wrinkles, and we have the worst skin cancer rates on the planet.
Even today, more than half of those treated in hospital for sunburn are kids. “Sun exposure in the first 20 years of life determines to a substantial degree a person’s lifetime potential for skin cancer,” SunSmart head Heather Walker says. “A bad sunburn for a child can be dangerous.”
Keep factor 30 in the car and by the front door and use it all year round.
DO insist on sunnies
Kids should wear wraparound sunglasses from the earliest possible age. Even babies can be taught to get used to having them on when they’re out. Make sure they’re labelled AS1067 as that guarantees strong UV protection.
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DON’T be fooled by shade
Just because your little boy is under a tree in the shade, doesn’t necessarily mean he's safe. UV rays can still get to his skin. Thousands of children get sunburnt on cloudy days each year.
DO reject the softies
If all a child consumes is sugary soft drinks, there’s a risk they’ll overheat. There really is no substitute for fresh, filtered and purified water. The occasional glass of homemade lemonade is another good option, but make it with chilled water from your BIBO² instead of soda.
READ MORE: FREE BIBO water bar trial for schools