Simple Solution for a Child Refusing to Wear a Hat On a Hot Day

Problem
Its hot outside, your kids have sunscreen on and their hats on their heads. Just as you get to where you need to go your child decides that she doesn’t want to wear a hat. You have several options: 1. Threaten her that if she doesn’t wear her hat she will have to wait in the car with either mommy or daddy. 2. She will not get ice cream or whatever yummy treat everyone else will get later in the day. 3. Ignore this behavior and hope that the sun won’t fry her head.

With my daughter both options 1 and 2 stopped working when she was about two years old. She’s six now. The big problem with my daughter not wearing a hat is that her hair is very dark and her head can get really hot after being exposed to the sun for just a few minutes. So with that being said option three wont work either.

Because dark colors absorb heat faster than light colors a child with darker hair is at risk for developing symptoms of heat exhaustion faster than a child with light colored hair. I am not going to go into detail on heat exhaustion in this post but what’s important is that even if you give your child water to drink its not going keep the head from heating up. Regardless, children almost never drink enough water. Children sweat less and as a result can overheat much faster than an adult can.

Solution
So to solve this problem the easiest thing that we do, which has worked now for the last four plus years, is carry around with us a spray bottle. Periodically spray your child’s hair with enough water to get the head comfortably wet. Keep from spraying them in the face unless they request it. The water in the spray bottle will act as sweat does and will help in keeping the head cool. If you don’t own a spray bottle or if you forget to bring one then just pour some water on your hands and wet down their head. However, a spray bottle is preferred as it provides a cooling mist and adds a nice and even misty layer of cool water over your childs hair.

Also, keep an eye on your child’s cheeks. If they start to appear flushed then that means they are not getting enough water and they are starting to get really hot. Even if they tell you they feel fine, they may still be overheating. Keep them cool.

As with an adult, a child whose head is exposed to a lot of sun will start to suffer from headaches and nausea, both symptoms of heat exhaustion, possibly even later in the day.

Some things to keep an eye out for while outside in the sun:

  • Flushed cheeks
  • Very hot head
  • Lots of bitterness and complaining (wait that happens anyway)

Things that may appear either earlier or later in the day:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dark yellow urine

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3 Responses

  1. HowToMe says:

    Good advice. Thank you!

  2. Dave says:

    In the old, pre-PC days, (when it wasn’t considered a violent outburst and precurser to the trenchcoat mafia), we carried water pistols… Worked like a charm, and you didn’t have the added stigma of a doting parent who wouldn’t JUST LET YOU PLAY!!!

    10 bucks at the dollar store and a water fountain will keep an entire playground of kids from getting heat related illnesses.

  3. Eric says:

    I remember those pre pc days. Nowadays, everyone makes a big deal when my four year old gets a cap gun. “Oh he’s going to grow up to want to have a real gun. Oh my.”

    Water guns, cap guns are all part of being a kid.

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