The 8 things parents should NEVER do in the heatwave | The Sun

IT'S continuing the heat up in the UK, with the hot weather sticking around over the weekend.

The Met Office is predicting highs of 35C – and it's important that we take care of the most vulnerable during this time.

Medical chiefs have said that young children, those with underlying health conditions and the elderly are more likely to experience adverse health effects.

This is due to the fact that hot weather increases the risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke in little ones.

While you might think you know it all when it comes to keeping your kids safe in the heat – there are some things experts have warned you should never do.

1. Taking your eye off the ball near pools

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Urgent warning to any parents taking their kids swimming in the heatwave

Urgent heat health warning issued to parents as Met Office predicts 35C highs

Everyone wants to have fun in the sun and while you should always supervise your kids near the pool, experts have warned over the potential dangers.

Drownings increase during a UK heatwave by up to 70 per cent for a number of reasons.

The water is colder, which can cause shock and currents are stronger than people realise.

While these drownings typically occur in natural water, pools can be dangerous if your kids are not supervised.

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In order to protect your little one from danger, first aiders have warned that you should be mindful when dressing them for the pool.

Posting to Tiny Hearts Education, former paramedic and CEO Nikki Jurcutz said: "Always put your little one in bright or contrasting colours that would be easy to find in an emergency.

"It only takes 20 seconds to drown, little tips like this could save a life".

2. Not enough sunscreen

You might think that putting sun cream on once is enough, but one guru previously said that adults need to take skin protection seriously – especially when it comes to kids.

Speaking to The Sun, Dr Sarah Carlick said: "Once sunburned as a child, it can increase your risk of skin cancer by over 50 per cent as an adult.

"Unfortunately, once the damage is done, it's done, but there are ways you can protect your children from sun damage," she said.

Dr Carlick said one of the best ways to protect your little ones is to use a high factor sun cream.

"This needs to be at least factor 50 and should be reapplied after a few hours.

"Stay out of the sun between 11am-3pm and if you can't, make sure the sun lotion is handy.

"Make sure it's a reputable brand and that there is sun cream on every part of flesh that is going to be exposed to the sun."

The guru also urged parents to put sun cream on their children before they go to school or go out for the day – making it part of their daily routine.

3. Using too many fabrics

Many parents will instinctively cover their little one's pram in the sunshine – but is this safe?

Instead you should use a parasol or sunshade clipped to the side of the pushchair.

Gurus at the Lullaby Trust said overheating increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The National Childbirth Trust said it's a good idea to keep your baby out of direct sunlight and in a cooler place from 11am to 3pm – when the heat is strongest.

"When you’re out and about, try and find a shady spot to sit or walk in.

"Although putting a covering like a muslin or a blanket over the buggy might seem like a good idea to keep the sun off your baby, it stops the air circulating and can make them too hot."

4. Letting them roam free

If your child is getting hot, then it might be tempting to strip them down.

But Dr Carlick also highlighted that this can be risky.

She said kids should also wear a sunhat and t-shirts to make sure their shoulders and chests are covered, she added.

"For extra protection sit in the shade, and you can even buy clothing that has UV protection built in.

"Use sun parasols if you can't find shade and always keep a small bottle of sun cream in your bag.

"Just like you take your purse or hand sanitiser. Keeping a little one of these in your bag is handy.

"If the weather changes then you can always keep your child protected," she said.

How to stay safe in the heat

Hot weather can be difficult for most of us to deal with.

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler
  • If you're vulnerable to the effects of heat, avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day (11am and 3pm).
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol – water, lower-fat milks and tea and coffee are good options.
  • Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool.
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves

5. Using a hose

While you might think using water is a good idea when it comes to cooling people down, it's important to always be safe.

That's because water left sat in a hose pipe, can heat up during high temperatures.

One mum-of-three previously issued a heart-breaking plea to all parents, after a little boy was left with second degree burns one summer.

She posted the warning from firefighters.

"A garden hose exposed to direct sunlight during the summer can heat the water inside the hose (not flowing) to 130-140 degrees Farenheit [54-60C] which can cause burns especially to children and animals.

"Let the water flow a few minutes to cool before spraying on people or animals.'"

6. No open water

During the heatwave being seen across the country, fire departments have warned about further dangers of letting children cool off in the water.

Moreno Francioso from Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service said: “Every summer, our service attends incidents involving people who have attempted to swim in open water.

“Please think twice before you get into deep water and not only put your life at risk, but also the lives of our firefighters or passers-by, who go in to try and rescue you. The only safe option is to avoid open water swimming entirely.”

7. Have watchers

If you're at an event with children, always make sure there is someone keeping an eye on them

Sue, a nurse and burns specialist said you should also be wary when children are around barbecues.

She said: "When you have them on the sand or on the mud, when you move them away and go to put them somewhere safe the ground where they have been stays hot for a long time, as does the edge of the barbecue.

"Always have someone ready standing beside it, allocate someone to be on kiddy watch for the children running around the garden."

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8. Don't let them run wild

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have warned schools and parents to avoid letting children undertake "vigorous physical activity" when temperatures exceed 30C.

It said children should also be kept out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when it is hottest.

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