04 July 2017

Hot Summer? 11 Ways to Keep You and Your Family Cool

Summer… The sky is blue and cloudless, the sun is round and high in the sky, and you are probably wondering where you’ve left the tube of sunscreen for sensitive skin – if you have children, it’s likely that you’ll be using a protection SPF 30 (or even 50) for children with very fair hair and skin. Summer is both a blessing and curse for every family. For a start, for older children, it’s family the well-deserved vacation– don’t argue, every child is convinced that after a year at school, they have more than deserved the time off in summer, even if they’ve barely learned to read and write. Summer is, after all, the season of freedom and relaxation. But it is also the time of the year when outdoors activities can become your worst enemy – nobody likes a sunburn – and when the days can be so hot that you feel like not moving at all. Unfortunately, you can’t stop the sun from shining in summer. But there are a few tips you can apply to make sure that, even though it’s hot outside, you can still enjoy your summer and keep children (and grownups) feeling cool and refreshed throughout the day and the night.

Back to Basics: Water Is a Must--

Summer is a time when children can easily dehydrate, as the body loses a lot of water in trying to maintain its temperature through perspiration. Consequently, it’s important that you always keep a bottle of water in the fridge – even if it’s tap water – so that you can help them to quench their thirst and cool down at the same time. More importantly, your role as a parent is to make sure that you limit the consumption of sodas and fruit juices. Indeed, while it may be appealing for children to drink soda when it’s hot, the consumption of sugar is not only unhealthy for the teeth but also disturbs the natural body functions. Instead of hydrating the body, these sugar-loaded drinks can lead to dehydration and inhibit the body cooling function.
How Can You Drink on the Go?

It may not be easy to always carry a drink with you, especially if you are using the summer break to go on vacation together. It’s difficult to imagine that you would always have a bottle of water if you are taking a stroll in the park, or maybe visiting a charming little village in Italy. If you want to avoid buying drinks on the go, you can pack a portable water filter to be on the safe side. It will allow you to drink safely from most sources of water, from a fountain to a stream along the path. However, if you’re in for a treat, do stop at a little café for a fresh drink. Again, a little reminder: Avoid sugary drinks for kids, and suggest instead homemade ice teas – some holiday places have delicious recipes – organic lemonade – its sugar contents are low – or even a fresh flavored water. As for yourself, you may want to avoid alcoholic drinks during a hot day to prevent dehydration.  
Avoid Fresh and Caloric Treats--

It’s difficult not to think of ice cream when the sun is out. While you know that you can’t stop the kids from eating ice creams, you may want to limit it to a few times a week at most. Ice cream is indeed directly linked to an increase in the body temperature which defeats its primary cooling function. How come that your body gets warm when you eat ice cream? It’s related to the caloric content: sugar, cream, and some additives. The body needs to work harder to digest ice cream, and consequently, you will be feeding the body’s metabolism for an unnecessary short-lived cooling effect.
Eat Fresh Foods--

 Instead, you should be looking at foods that can help your body to maintain its temperature and that are healthy. Thankfully, the summer season is full of fresh and yummy ingredients that are perfect for delicious and refreshing summer salads. Tomatoes, for instance, are one of best sunny fruits of the season, and they are fantastic in a refreshing Caprese salad with mozzarella or a cold Spanish gazpacho with cucumber and sherry vinegar. Not your thing? Try a zucchini salad with lemon and mint: It’s a pleasure for the taste buds, and it helps your body to cool down when the temperatures are hot. Another great way of replacing the ice cream for a healthy dessert is to offer watermelon instead. Not only is it fresh and natural, but it’s also made of 98% of water, which is guaranteed to keep your body hydrated.

What Should You Wear in Summer? 

Have you ever considered what to wear in summer in terms of fabrics instead of fashion trends? Whether you are shopping for yourself or your little family, you need to be looking at cooling and practical fabrics. According to babble.com/keeping-your-cool, cotton is the best known and one of the most elegant fabrics for the summer. It is also guaranteed to keep your cool during a hot sunny day as, being a natural fiber. It helps your body to maintain its temperature. In other words, you are less likely to sweat if you wear cotton. The same argument is valid for linen, which can be declined for the whole family, from shirts to dresses and shorts. Linen is also lightweight and easy to maintain, so it’s a perfect pick for the summer weather.
How to Keep Your Furniture Cool--

But you will need to be looking at fabrics for your furniture, too. Indeed, leather and plastic made furniture is guaranteed to overheat during the summer. To put it simply, if you have a leather sofa, you will need to put a cotton throw on top to keep it cool and dry during the moist and hot weather. Similarly, for leather seats in your car, you will need to be looking at cooling seat covers to prevent the leather from burning your skin. For young children and babies who still need a car seat, you can also add a summer seat cover – as seen here babyseats.reviews/baby-car-seat-covers – to block the harmful sunlight and even keep mosquitos at bay. Remember that toddlers and babies have a highly sensitive skin. Consequently, they will need additional protection, even when you are in the car.  
Keeping the House Cool with A/C--

One of the blessings of modern houses is air conditioning. It is also quite a high cost, too. Therefore, you need to be smart to stay cool without breaking the bank. For a start, make sure that you are not keeping your windows and doors open – or poorly insulated – when you turn the A/C on. Don’t waste your cool air! Keep the blinds shut during the day to make sure that exposed windows are not overheating the room. Finally, just because you have an air con doesn’t mean that you can’t use the fan. According to research, using a ceiling fan can make a room feel up to 10 degrees cooler, for only a tenth of the energy of your A/C unit.
Keeping the House Cool Without A/C--

If you don’t have any A/C unit, it doesn’t mean that you have to boil in your home. You can keep it cool too with smart tips, such as keeping your blinds closed during the day, especially for south- and west-facing windows. Besides, you can always keep a bowl of ice in front of your fan to create a fresh breeze in your home. Call it your DIY air conditioning unit, if you prefer!  
Invest in a Swimming Pool--

During the hot days, more and more families choose to buy an outdoor pool that you can inflate and stand in the yard. It’s a rather inexpensive way of keeping cool during the days, assuming that you can keep the pool in the shade – don’t leave it under the midday sun otherwise the water will get warm and the pool material might begin to show signs of wear and tear within weeks. One rule with pools, whether it is an in-built pool or a standing one is to maintain the quality of the water. Standing pools will need their water changed regularly. In-built pools require a water pump and a filter.  
Enjoy a Walk in the Park--

You may not be aware of it, but not every outdoor activity is bound to be hot and sweaty in summer. If you live in a wooded area, for instance, you will certainly learn to appreciate a refreshing walk among the trees. Indeed, the temperature in the forest is cooler in summer, due to the evapotranspiration from the trees. This phenomenon keeps the area cool when the weather is hot outside.
Sleep Through a Hot Night--

Finally, nights can be very warm in summer, and it can be difficult for children to sleep well. You can help them to cool down by maintaining their bedroom at a pleasant temperature. Close the blinds and the door during the day so that the air can’t come in. At night, open the windows so that you can create an air current that refreshes the room. A lukewarm shower or bath before bed will also help the body to cool down while avoiding a temperature shock.