Sunshine during the school holidays can be a real blessing – it provides the backdrop for fun family days out and time spent playing outdoors. However, when a heatwave hits, lack of sleep can leave children feeling irritable and even unwell. This often leeds to arguments among siblings and strung out kids come night time.
If this sounds like a familiar story in your household, read on for a few hints and tips on how you can keep your kids cool at night time in order to promote a more peaceful sleep…
A bit of a breeze can really help to cool kids down but it’s not always practical to leave bedroom windows open. Whether safety issues come into play or there’s a hayfever sufferer to consider, you can try and keep a room cool in advance by blocking sun from the room. Using blackout blinds or drawing curtains partway should stop the room from heating up too much. Unplugging equipment that’s not in use could also help bring the temperature down as things like TVs and stereos left on standby can give off heat. As strange as it may sound, our mind can also play a part in moderating our temperature; just imagining yourself in a cool place can help trick you into thinking you’re not quite so warm. Perhaps you could read the little ones the story of the Ice Queen come bedtime or watch the film Frozen as a family?
As far as possible, bedtime should be a calm affair so that kids can settle down unflustered. Cool, cotton nightwear will help keep them comfortable in warmer weather. As temperatures soar, try running their wrists under the cold water after they’ve cleaned their teeth as this can help to cool them down. If they wake during the night complaining about the heat this is something that can be easily repeated to ease their discomfort. If you’re confident of its safety and they don’t mind the noise, a fan will help moderate the temperature of their bedroom once they’ve climbed into their cabin bed or single bed. With younger children ensure it’s out of reach of small fingers and can’t be knocked over. A small bottle of frozen water with a no-spill cap can be a useful addition to bedside tables as it can give off cooling vapour and provide a cool drink should they wake.
On the bed
Lowering the tog level of the duvet might be enough for some little ones while others may just want to slip under a cool cotton be sheet. To keep things extra cool, remove or add extra sheets on top of waterproof mattress protectors as these can insulate the bed and heat things up. You can also try cooling sheets by popping them in the freezer in a bag before putting them on the bed. Cooling gel cushion pads can be purchased fairly inexpensively – just pop them in the fridge a few hours before bedtime and then slip them under the pillow cover so kids can sink into slumber. Of course, these may not be suitable for use with younger children who could benefit from a cold wet flannel laid on their head or elsewhere to chill them down. This can then be removed as it starts to warm up.
Have your little ones loved the hot weather during daytime but found themselves sleep deprived at night? Do you have any other tips for keeping them cool?