Keep your kids safe and cool this summer
As a new parent in Germany, navigating the hot summer months can be a challenging experience, particularly when it comes to keeping your baby or toddler cool and safe in the heat. Things are different when you’re new to parenting in Germany and it helps to learn about how to kep your kids safe in Germany in summer so that you can enjoy the good weather outdoors.
Summer heat in Germany
It gets hot!
With soaring temperatures, intense UV rays, and the risk of overheating, it’s crucial to pay close attention to your little one’s well-being during this season. But the way we live and spend time in the sun differs in Germany as compared to our home countries. There are some specific things you need to do and avoid when you have babies or toddlers to keep them cool and safe.
I want to offer you my tips to help you manage the heat effectively and keeping your child safe and healthy.
Watch out for signs of overheating
One of the first steps in ensuring your child’s safety during summer is to recognize the signs of overheating. Common symptoms include excessive sweating, flushed skin, rapid breathing, irritability, and lethargy. Pay close attention to these signs, as overheating can lead to more severe conditions like heat exhaustion or heatstroke, which often presents as fever.
If you notice any of these symptoms like dehydration, lethargy or high fever, move your child to a cooler environment immediately, offer fluids, and seek medical assistance if necessary.
How to keep your children cool and safe from the summer heat in Germany
Lots of water: Babies and toddlers are more susceptible to dehydration due to their smaller bodies and higher water requirements. Ensure they stay hydrated by offering fluids regularly, even if they don’t ask for it. Breastfeeding mothers should increase their fluid intake to meet the baby’s needs.
Cool indoors: Create a comfortable indoor environment by using fans, air conditioning, or opening windows during cooler times of the day. Avoid direct sunlight and keep curtains or blinds closed to prevent excessive heat from entering your home. You can also set up a small pool on your balcony or a tub in your bathroom for your child to play in for some time.
Cool Baths: Regular cool baths or showers can help reduce your child’s body temperature. A lukewarm bath before bedtime can also promote better sleep during hot nights. Throw in some bath toys like ducks and cups for their enjoyment. If you have the space, you can set up a bucket or small pool on your balcony or in your garden for them to play. My tip: you can also put your feet in there to cool down!
Summer clothes: Choose loose-fitting, lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen that allow air circulation and help regulate body temperature. Dress your child in a wide-brimmed hat that shades their face, neck, and ears. They might protest, but keep repeating the importance of wearing a hat to them.
Sunscreen: Applying sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) is crucial to shield your child’s delicate skin from harmful UV rays. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed areas of your child’s skin at least 15 minutes before going outside. Reapply the sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if your child is sweating or playing in water. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on yourself as well! Choose any brand you feel comfortable with that you can find at DM or Rossmann.
Ideally, you should avoid going out into the hot sun with your small children. Stay indoors and cool during the peak hours. We use a UV app to find out when the sun isn’t strong so that we go outside only at those times. It can be frustrating because you feel limited, but it keeps your children safe.
Sun Protection: Invest in a stroller with a large canopy or attach a sunshade to protect your child from direct sunlight. Opt for darker colors that absorb less heat. Remember to position the stroller in a shaded area whenever possible.
Proper Ventilation: Ensure your stroller has good airflow to prevent overheating. Choose a model with breathable fabrics and consider using a stroller fan to keep your child cool. Do not use muslin cloths or napkins to cover the stroller as this can cause over-heating and can potentially be life-threatening.
Regular Breaks: Take regular breaks during walks to allow your child to rest and cool down. Find shady spots or indoor areas with air conditioning to provide relief from the heat. Sip on some water.
Remember that it is also important for you to apply sunscreen and stay hydrated! Enjoy the German summer!
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