A blog by Dr Lin Day



Stay Cool Top Tips

Here are some tips to help you, and your baby or toddler, stay cool when temperatures soar:

 

Indoors

 

·      Stay indoors at the hottest time of the day in a well-ventilated room.

·      Close the blinds to prevent your home becoming a mini greenhouse.

·      A fan won’t make the room cooler, but moving air over your skin can make you feel more comfortable (check it has a finger guard).  Better still; put a bowl of ice in front of it.

·      Place wet towels and bottles of frozen water around the room to help reduce air temperature.

·      Take a cool bath or shower with your toddler (not recommended for babies) or wet your hair.

·      Place a cool, damp flannel on your pulse points.

·      Wrap a tea towel soaked in cold water around your feet.

·      Turn on the oven and bathroom extractor fans to help remove warm or steamy air from the room.

·      Avoid using the oven - it will heat up the house.

·      Cool down with a cold water bottle on your tummy.

·      Wear as little clothing as possible and go barefoot.

·      Sit or play on the floor where the air is cooler.

·      Reduce bedtime clothing and bedding to a minimum and keep the bedroom well ventilated.

·      Light dust your skin with corn flour to absorb sweat and make you feel more comfortable.

·      Slightly dampen your bed sheets to help you cool you down.

 

You and your child will sleep more comfortably when the room is between 16°C (61°F) and 18°C (65 °F).

 

Out and about

 

If you do need to venture out in hot weather, try scheduling activities earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.

 

It also helps if you:

 

·      Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting, breathable clothing made from natural fibres such as cotton or silk. Cover your child’s arms and legs. Avoid synthetic fibres, which increase sweating.

·      Wear a wide-brimmed hat to provide shade and keep your head cool.

·      Keep to shady places such as a shopping mall or library.

·      Stay in the shade especially between 11 am and 3 pm, when UV radiation is at its strongest.

·      A sun tent can provide shade, but make sure that it doesn’t get too hot inside.

·      Mist yourself or your child with cold water or spray from a garden hose.

·      Sit in a cold, shaded paddling pool or refresh your feet in a bowl of cold water. Make sure your child is closely supervised at all times.

·      Attach a sunshade to the pushchair to protect your child from the sun. Check that there are no metal parts on the pushchair that can get hot and cause burns.

·      A lamb’s wool fleece is an ideal way to keep your child cool in the pushchair when you’re out and about (although you may get a few strange glances). The fleece absorbs moisture and helps to disperse heat.

·      When travelling, place a portable blackout blind or sunscreen in the side window to reduce temperature and glare, and to help shield your child’s skin and eyes from the sun.

·      Consider travelling at night when the temperature is cooler.

 

Stay hydrated

 

·      Drink more water than usual so that you never become thirsty. A glass of water every 30 minutes or so will prevent dehydration.

·      Avoid salty foods, which retain water and increase blood pressure.

·      Drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages (mums and dads!).

·      Eat ice cubes and keep trays stocked up in the freezer.

·      Avoid drinks with large amounts of caffeine such as tea, coffee, chocolate, and energy drinks.

·      Keep your metabolism steady by eating small, regular meals. Large portions increase metabolism and generate more body heat.

 

Stay safe

 

Seek immediate medical attention if you or your child experience one or more of the following symptoms during the heatwave:

 

·      Strong, rapid pulse.

·      Extreme weakness or fatigue

·      Throbbing headache.

·      Dizziness.

·      Nausea.

·      Confusion.

·      Muscle cramps.

·      Fast and shallow breathing.

 

Excessive heat may cause problems if you become dehydrated. Find a cool area where you can rehydrate and rest.

 

By Dr Lin Day (www.babysensory.com

Toddler Sense and Father’s Day

Yabba Dabba Do!

Our Toddler Sense Father’s Day celebration is packed with champion entertainment from sporty warm-ups to fun ball games, a parachute bonanza, marching with Tod (our mascot), balloons and bubbles. And if you can’t bring Dad, Mum will have lots of fun too!

Father’s Day is just around the corner and Toddler Sense is getting ready to celebrate the important role that dads contribute to their children's lives. We have plenty of fun activities that dads and toddlers will enjoy and remember forever! 

The adventure play area is a great place to start and the equipment offers endless opportunities for exploration, problem-solving and imaginative thinking. You can encourage your toddler to crawl through tunnels, bounce, balance, climb or clamber over obstacles and teach important life skills at the same time.

When dads join in, toddlers know they are fun to be with!

Then it’s time for an adventure with your toddler starting with our ‘How do you do?’ song and then a champion warm up activity before we introduce a wonderful bonanza of sporty games to get dads as involved as possible!

Every week is different so if you can’t make ‘Father’s Day’, you can look forward to zooming to the moon, meeting aliens, putting the hatches down on Captain Tod’s yellow submarine, going ape at the African Zoo, digging for dinosaurs, crossing the high seas to Treasure Island, discovering the magic of the jungle (there’ll be monkey mayhem so wind up your windows and hide the sandwiches), and being a firefighter rescuing Tod from danger with your toddler.

When you join in with the fun, you add to your child’s development in unique and important ways. For example, encouraging physical skills supports the development of independence, confidence and achievement; making music fosters brain development; singing expands language and communication skills; playing fishing games develops imagination; helping your toddler post, sort, organize and deliver the daily mail encourages thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills; going on a nature trail fosters an understanding of the world.  It’s impossible to name all the activities and benefits, but you are sure to enjoy them all!

 

What the research says….

A large-scale study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies showed that fathers who engaged in fun play with toddlers had a far-reaching impact on their social skills and behaviours.

Research by the Fatherhood Institute showed that paternal interactions equipped children socially and psychologically and made a real difference to their lives.

Maureen Black, researcher and professor of paediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, found that children with an actively involved father had improved language skills and fewer behavioural problems, even if he lived apart from them.

Researchers at the University of Oxford, concluded that children who benefitted from paternal involvement from an early age were more likely to get good grades in school.

W. Bradford Wilcox, associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, stated that girls and boys were much more likely to thrive when they had the benefit of the father’s interest, involvement and attention.

Numerus studies have shown that spending quality time with children makes fatherhood more rewarding and enjoyable. Dads also develop lifelong bonds with their children that cannot be formed in any other way.

Father’s Day celebrates the unique contribution that dads make to all aspects of their children’s lives. Toddler Sense provides a wonderful opportunity for dads and children to spend quality time together.

By Dr Lin Day (http://www.babysensory.com/en/toddlersense)