Hot Weather and CHD

Summer is upon us! Even though I’m not in school anymore (and my kids are not even school aged) there is still a magical element to summer. It just feels a little more relaxed. The hot weather means the pool is open, we grill out in the backyard, and the sun stays up a little longer to extend the evening fun.

It’s all wonderful until about July. That’s usually when the southeast really cranks it up a notch and we begin 8 solid weeks of 95 degree days. Yay. But how do you survive this hot weather with a child with CHD? Sometimes individuals with CHD will have a harder time with extreme temperatures, whether cold or hot. Here’s a few tips for surviving this summer weather with your heart hero.

Hydrate

Ok mommas, I’m going to kick it right off with the most important one. Hydration is SO important for anyone, especially those with CHD, during hot weather. If you are sweating then you need to be drinking to replace that lost hydration.

Baby with CHD cooling off with some water during hot weather.
Calvin, age 5 months, cooling off with some water and practicing sippy cup skills.

For babies, you may have to get a little creative. Squeeze in an extra nursing session, bottle, or try a sippy cup of water if they are old enough. My little guy loved experimenting with sips of cold water from time to time.

Now that my two are toddlers, if they aren’t drinking enough water we also sub in some fun summer weather treats. We do popsicles, “juice” (water with a squirt of lemon, lime, or a shot of apple juice), or even boxed juices or capri sun when we are on the go.

I’m not winning any “Mom of the Year” awards giving my two-year-old capri suns, but we also aren’t spending any time in the ER due to dehydration, so I consider it a win!

In the Car

Is there anything worse than getting in the car during the peak of summer weather? Blah! Leather seats burning the backs of your legs, metal seat belt clips the temperature of actual lava. I always feel a little bit bad buckling my kids up in their black car seats. But what’s a mom to do? Here’s a few ways to beat the summer heat in the car:

  • Noggle – You guys, I’m not kidding, this is a real thing! It’s a little overpriced for what it is, but desperate times might warrant it! This fabric covered tube delivers air conditioning from the front vent directly to your back seat rider. Pretty cool (pun intended).
Child staying cool during hot weather in the car using a Noggle.
Noggle for rear AC
  • Pre-cool – My husband is a master at remembering to do this. Five minutes before we leave the house, summer or winter, he pre-starts the car to get it to a comfortable temp before loading up. Now that it’s so sweltering hot I’m trying to do it too. The kids appreciate it and so do the backs of my thighs.
  • Car seat chillo – This little fold-able seat pad you can stick in the freezer and then set it in your child’s seat while running around doing errands. It keeps the seat nice and cool even in the hottest weather. Note that you don’t have your child sit on the pad. You just use it to cool the seat when they are not in it.

Cool Tools

  • Cooling towel – Guys, this towel gets COLD. Just add a little water and you have your own little personal burst of AC. We like the Frogg Toggs one. It’s kinda big for a little kid, but you can cut it down into smaller pieces.
  • Fans – stroller fans, car seat fans, travel fans…all. the. fans. It’s amazing what relief a little fan can add on a hot day. They are a must for amusement parks, zoo trips, or any other extended outdoor outing.
  • Water play – don’t underestimate the power of a $2.99 baby pool and your sprinkler this summer. When it’s 95 degrees and you’ve all had about as much Paw Patrol as you can take, slap on some sun screen and your swim suits and go make some fun!

What else are you doing to stay cool in this hot weather? Let us know your tips in the comments!

Also read: Taking Your Child with CHD to Disney World