How do we keep our kids cool at school when the heat is on?
I CAN’T stand people who complain when hot weather reaches the UK. They’d be the same type who’d grumble about having too much money after a lottery win, or the pressures of fame after getting to the X-Factor final.
But I will give the moaners this: I’m glad it’s cooler this week. Trying to get kids ready for school when you wake up to a day like the inside of a sauna adds another level of stress onto the mornings.
They wake up red faced and still groggy, before taking twice as long as usual to do their ablutions. Then there’s the battle with the sun cream. It’s bad enough trying to get them smothered in enough Factor 50 to resemble an uncooked chip when you’re on holiday – and not under pressure for time.
When you’ve got to get three of them done before 8am, it’s more of a challenge. Try to go near a kid with a hand full of sun cream and they’ll wriggle, complain, scrunch up their noses and turn their head in any direction but towards you.
You then have to think about extra drinks for the day. My kids can be as dehydrated as a prune in a tumble dryer, but if they don’t have a glass RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, they’d never think to do anything about it, even if there’s a water fountain on the other side of the room.
So you have to send in a water bottle. This is problematic in our household because my eight-year-old loses his every single day. At a couple of pounds a throw this is a very expensive habit; I’d spend less money on drinks for him if I took him to the pub for a session every night.
But the main reason I’m glad we’re back to slightly more lacklustre temperatures is that uniforms aren’t exactly ideal
garb for kids when they’re trying to keep cool.
I see my 12-year-old amble out of school every afternoon in his blazer and tie, a massive holdall full of books over his shoulder and it seems ludicrous that in the 21st century we’re so dreadful at adapting to extremes of temperature in the UK.
I think the school boys from ISCA Academy in Exeter had it right when, after being refused permission to modify their uniform because of the hot weather, they all turned up in skirts.
There will be some who think this is anarchy. But, personally, if one of my sons did that I’d be cheering from the sidelines… with a big ice lolly to hand.
Keeping cool should be a school rule