10 Tips to Help Kids Survive Dubai Summers

kid enjoying dubai summer on beach

In Dubai, fun under the sun can come with its fair share of hazards and concerns. Especially, in the hot summers when your toddler loves to play outside, or splash in their cute little pools.

By taking the necessary precautions, parents can indulge in fun activities with their little one without any stress. Since there is no harm in being extra cautious, make sure you have access to services like doctor at home in Dubai in case of an emergency.

We talked to Dr. Lekshmi Muraleedharan Pillai, one of the top doctors working at Lifeline Clinics, to get her expert opinion on the necessary precautionary measures parents must take to help their kids survive the hot summer months in Dubai.

Understanding the Hot Climate of Dubai

Dubai’s summer, typically from June to September, brings extreme temperatures that often soar above 40 Β°C (104 Β°F). The intense heat, coupled with high humidity, necessitates special precautions for young children who are more vulnerable to various heat-related illnesses. Here are some important guidelines to follow to ensure your tiny tots stay safe and comfortable during summer.

1. Hydration and Nutrition

Staying hydrated is crucial for kids of all ages, especially in the summer. Here’s how to ensure your little one is getting enough fluids:

Fluid Intake

Hydration is critical during Dubai’s summer. For babies under 1, who primarily consume breast milk or formula, frequent feeds are essential. Breastfeeding mothers should also stay hydrated to ensure an adequate milk supply. Toddlers, who are more active, need regular water intake. 

Encourage them to drink water frequently, and offer hydrating foods like fruits (watermelon, oranges) and vegetables (cucumbers). Make sure your child’s sippy cup or bottle is always filled with cold water. Moreover, you can offer them electrolyte-rich drinks like coconut water or Pedialyte to help replace lost salts and minerals. Additionally, as a refreshing treat during the hot days, you can make them popsicles from pureed fruits at home for hydration.

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports overall health and boosts the immune system. During the hot months, lighter meals are preferable. Include foods that are easy to digest and avoid heavy, oily dishes. Fresh fruit smoothies, yogurts, and salads can be added as refreshing snack options for toddlers in their diet plan.

2. Sun Protection

Dubai’s scorching sun demands vigilant sun protection for young children to prevent heat-related issues and sunburn.

Appropriate Clothing

When it comes to dressing your infant or toddler for the summer, the key is to prioritize comfort and protection. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton. Light-colored clothes reflect sunlight, keeping the body cooler. Also, make sure your child wears a wide-brimmed hat to shield their face and neck from direct sunlight.

Sunscreen for Toddlers

Choose a sunscreen specifically formulated for children, as it is less likely to contain harsh chemicals that could irritate sensitive skin. For toddlers, applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is essential. Apply sunscreen generously on all exposed skin and reapply every two hours, or more frequently, especially if they are playing in water. Popular sunscreen brands for kids in Dubai include Banana Boat, Mamaearth, and Bioderma. Sunscreen products from these brands are trusted and used by parents in Dubai.

3. Indoor Activities and Cooling Solutions

When the scorching Dubai sun makes outdoor play challenging, indoor environments provide a cool haven for children to stay active and engaged. Here is how you can make the most of indoor spaces during the summer months.

Indoor Play Areas

Summer does not have to mean boring days stuck indoors. Dubai offers a plethora of indoor play areas that provide a safe environment with low temperatures for children. Some popular options include:

  • Kidzania at The Dubai Mall: An indoor edutainment center where children can role-play various professions.
  • OliOli in Al Quoz: An interactive children’s museum with hands-on exhibits designed to inspire curiosity and creativity.
  • Cheeky Monkeys: Multiple locations across Dubai offering soft play areas, arts and crafts, and themed activities.
  • Dubai Public Library, and The Old Library: Often host story time sessions and other educational activities for kids.

These venues are air-conditioned and designed to engage children in a variety of stimulating activities, making them perfect escapes from the heat.

DIY Projects at Home

Engage your child in DIY projects at home. Simple crafts, sensory bins, and interactive toys can keep toddlers occupied and stimulate their creativity. Websites like Pinterest offer countless ideas for age-appropriate DIY activities that can be done indoors.

Home Cooling Solutions

At home, ensure that air conditioning units are functioning efficiently to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Using fans can also help circulate cool air. Create a cozy indoor play area with toys, books, and games to keep your little ones entertained and active while staying cool.

Also, while screen time can be an easy way to keep toddlers entertained, it is important to balance it with other activities. Limit screen time and choose educational content that promotes learning and development. Apps and shows that teach numbers, letters, and social skills can be beneficial when used in moderation.

4. Outdoor Timings and Precautions

While it is essential to limit outdoor time during the peak summer months, sometimes it is unavoidable. Here are a few considerations to keep your child safe when venturing outside:

Early Mornings and Evenings

If you plan to take your children outside, do so during the cooler parts of the day. These include early mornings or late evenings. During these times, the temperatures are significantly lower, reducing the risk of heat-related issues. Avoid going out between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. Parks like Zabeel Park and Al Barsha Pond Park are ideal for early morning or evening strolls, offering green spaces and playgrounds for children. 

Proper Gear

When outside, always carry essentials like a wide-brimmed hat, a stroller with a canopy, sunglasses, and a light cover-up for extra protection. A portable fan or a cooling towel can also be beneficial in keeping your child cool. Never forget your child’s water bottle or sippy cup.

5. Staying Healthy and Active

Maintaining your child’s health and activity levels is crucial during Dubai’s summer months.

Regular Check-ups

Regular pediatric check-ups are vital to monitor your child’s health, especially during the summer. Ensure your child’s vaccination is up-to-date and discuss any concerns with your pediatrician. Be vigilant of any signs of dehydration or heat exhaustion, such as excessive thirst, lethargy, or irritability, and seek medical advice if needed.

Physical Activities

Keeping toddlers physically active is essential for their growth and development. Indoor swimming pools, like those at Aquaventure World or Wild Wadi Waterpark, provide safe and cool environments for children to exercise and have fun. Enroll your child in indoor activity classes, such as gymnastics or dance, which are offered at various locations across Dubai.

6. Be Aware of the Health Risks

Heat exposure can cause many health risks among children, which can range from mild heat exhaustion to severe heat stroke. Understanding all such conditions, their prevention, and management is crucial. Using Dr. Lekshmi’s expert knowledge all heat related conditions, their symptoms, and the necessary precautions have been listed below:

Types of Heat-Related Illnesses

These illnesses encompass several conditions that result from prolonged exposure to high temperatures and insufficient hydration:

1. Heat Cramps:

  • Description: Painful muscle cramps and spasms, usually in the legs or abdomen, often caused by heavy sweating and electrolyte loss.
  • Treatment: Move the child to a cool place, gently stretch and massage the affected muscles, and provide fluids with electrolytes.

2. Heat Exhaustion:

  • Description: More severe than heat cramps, heat exhaustion is characterized by excessive sweating, pale and clammy skin, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, and elevated body temperature.
  • Risk Factors: Prolonged exposure to heat and humidity, inadequate fluid intake, and strenuous physical activity without adequate rest.
  • Prevention: Ensure adequate hydration with water and electrolyte-rich drinks, frequent rest breaks in shaded or cool areas, and appropriate clothing choices.
  • Management: Move the child to a cooler environment, remove excess clothing, fan the body, and provide fluids. Monitor for signs of progression to heatstroke.

3. Heatstroke (Sunstroke):

  • Description: A life-threatening condition, wherein the thermostat of the body fails to regulate its temperature, leading to a rapid rise in body temperature (above 40 Β°C or 104 Β°F). Symptoms include hot and dry skin (lack of sweating), rapid heartbeat, confusion, dizziness, throbbing headache, nausea, and possibly loss of consciousness.
  • Risk Factors: Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, high humidity, and inadequate hydration.
  • Prevention: Avoiding strenuous activity during peak heat hours, staying hydrated, and seeking shade or air-conditioned environments.
  • Management: Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Immediately call emergency services (998 in Dubai) for professional medical assistance. While waiting, move the child to a cooler place, remove excess clothing, and attempt to cool the body with cool water or wet towels.

Signs to Watch Out For

  • Excessive sweating or lack of sweating
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Sticky or dry mouth
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
  • Few or no tears when crying

When to Seek Medical Help

Dr. Lekshmi advises to β€˜seek emergency medical help fast’ if a child exhibits the following symptoms of heatstroke:

  • Hot, dry skin (lack of sweating)
  • Confusion or loss of consciousness
  • Severe headache
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Temperature above 40 Β°C (104 Β°F)

β€œPrompt medical intervention is crucial to prevent serious complications associated with heatstroke, such as organ damage or even death”, she further recommends.

7. Community Resources and Support

Navigating parenthood in Dubai is made easier with the support of various community resources and groups dedicated to families and children. These resources provide not only practical advice, but also a sense of community and shared experiences among parents.

Parenting Groups

Joining parenting groups can be incredibly beneficial. They offer a platform to share experiences, get advice, and participate in group activities. Groups like ExpatWoman, and British Mums Dubai organize meet-ups, playdates, and events that are tailored to young children, and toddlers, providing opportunities for social interaction and support.

Healthcare Resources

Dubai has numerous healthcare facilities that specialize in pediatric care. Knowing the locations of nearby clinics and hospitals can be crucial in case of emergencies. Many hospitals offer specialized pediatric services, ensuring your child receives comprehensive care. Moreover, you now have the convenience of even calling a doctor at home in Dubai.

8. Traveling Safely

Dubai has stringent regulations for child safety. It is imperative for parents to be aware of these laws to ensure the safety of their children at all times. Dubai law strictly prohibits leaving children alone in cars, and there are substantial fines for violations. According to the Wadeema Law (Federal Law on Child Rights), offenders can face penalties of up to AED 1 million, and up to 10 years in jail. This law aims to prioritize child safety and ensure that parents are not neglectful of their children. Therefore, be sure to prioritize the following:

Car Seats and Safety

Ensure that your vehicle is equipped with a proper car seat that meets safety standards. The car seat should be appropriate for your child’s age, weight, and height. Regularly check that the car seat is correctly installed and that your child is securely fastened.

Emergency Kit

Keep an emergency kit in your car, including items like water, snacks, a first-aid kit, extra clothes, and a battery-operated fan. These items can be lifesavers in case of unforeseen delays or emergencies.

Conclusion

Summer in Dubai presents unique challenges, but it can be made into a time of  fun and growth for toddlers. Parents should take advantage of the city’s resources, stay informed about safety guidelines, and create a balanced routine that includes both indoor and outdoor activities. By doing so, they can ensure a memorable and safe summer for their little ones.

In case your kids experience any of the heat related illnesses, and none of the management methods work, you can always take advantage of the convenience that a home visit doctor in Dubai offers. Just go to the ServiceMarket app, or website to quickly book an at-home visit with professionals who are experienced, licensed, and fully vetted. Lastly, but most importantly, do not forget to take care of yourself too because parenting in the summer can be exhausting!

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