Soaring temperatures may be a rare treat in the UK but they are headed back our way this June.
With increasingly more of us also heading for a sun-soaked getaway abroad or just planning to get some vitamin D in the garden while we get a second chance at summer, it is essential that you know how to protect your children - and yourself - from the heat.
Parents spend plenty of time worrying that their babies and young children are too cold, and piling on the layers. But in high temperatures, it's essential to remember that the dangers of overheating can be more serious.
In hot weather conditions, babies and children are at risk of dehydration, sunburn and heatstroke, where the body is no longer able to cool itself and the body temperature becomes dangerously high. Heatstroke can put a strain on the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys, and can be life-threatening.
Babies and children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of heat and need to be monitored carefully during hot weather.
Use the following checklist to remind yourself of ways to keep your babies and children cool and safe.
Keeping your child cool in hot weather
1. How to keep your baby cool in buggies
A common mistake parents make is covering a buggy or push chair with a blanket to shield their baby from the sun, or to act as a blackout blind on bright days. Even the thinnest of cloths or blankets can have a furnace-like effect on the inside of the buggy, according to Swedish researchers.
"It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos," Dr Svante Norgren, a paediatrician in Stockholm, told the newspaper Svenska Dabgladet.
In reporting on the study from 2014, the newspaper did its own testing on the effects of the sun on a buggy's temperature, leaving it in the sun between 11:30am and 1pm.
Without a cover it reached a temperature of 22C, but when a thin cover was placed over the stroller for 30 minutes, the temperature inside the buggy hit 34C.
Follow these tips on how to keep cool in a heatwave.
2. How to keep your baby cool in cars
A startling number of babies and toddlers die each year when their parents accidentally leave them strapped into their car seats in hot cars.
Nearly 40 children die of hyperthermia each year in the US. Numbers in Europe appear to be proportionally lower than in America - which is unsurprising, given the high temperatures recorded in US southern states, but between 2007-2009, there were seven fatalities in France and Belgium, according to Child Safety Europe. One such tragedy was reported in Ireland in 2017.
How can we prevent hyperthermia deaths?
Never leave a child alone in a car.
Read Gene Weingarten’s haunting Pulizter Prize-winning feature Fatal Distraction, which tells the stories of these tragedies with compassion.
3. How to keep your baby cool at night
If you have booked a hotel or villa in a warm climate, for your September staycation or green list getaway, check in advance to be sure that there are on-site fans or air-conditioners. If there are not, ask the operator to provide them.
Choose the coolest room in the house for your child. Keep the heat out by closing shutters or curtains, while also making sure that the air can circulate around the child’s cot (don’t use cot liners). Don’t leave babies asleep in a pram as they can become very hot and high sides do not offer good air circulation.
Give your child a lukewarm bath to cool them down and if you use a fan, don’t point it directly at the child; instead, use it to keep the air circulating. Make sure that your child cannot touch the fan, as the blades are a hazard for small fingers.
If you have an air conditioner, make sure the room does not get too cold: set it for 24C.
How to prevent heat-related illness
Follow these tips to keep your baby or child healthy in hot weather.
What are the signs of heatstroke in babies and children?
Hot, red dry skin
Rapid, shallow breathing
Fewer wet nappies than usual
How to prepare your baby for hot weather
Dress them in lightweight, loose clothing.
Try to stay in the shade - but make sure this shade has good airflow.
Encourage your baby to drink more fluids than usual on hot days - water is the best - and make sure that you do, too. If you are breastfeeding, this means doing so more frequently than usual, as this is your child’s way to hydrate.
For more information, read the NHS guide to protecting babies and children from heat-related illness.
This article has been updated with the latest information for summer.