The heatwave may provide parents with some relief, as it means easy outdoor plans like picnics in the park can be made without the extra hassle of potential rain and all the extra clothes that come along with.
However with soaring temperatures means keeping kids cool is a lot harder and ensuring they don’t get sunburnt or overheat is tricky, whether they just don’t want to wear a hat or have sunscreen reapplied.
The precautions you need to take can differ depending on the age of a child. According to the National Childbirth Trust, for babies, be wary of usig hoods or light sheets to shade a buggy in direct sunlight as they can make the inside really hot. Instead, avoid leaving your baby in their buggy in direct sunlight.
If your baby is under six months old, it's recommended to keep them out of direct sunlight.
The charity also advises dressing children in loose cotton clothes like oversized T-shirts, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses that meet the British Standard and carry the CE mark on their label.
Sunscreen should be liberally applied on all exposed skin too, and according to the NHS, the sun protection factor (SPF) should never be any lower than 25, and preferably 50 – the higher the SPF, the better.
Should you have a paddling pool for your children to splash about in, make sure the suncream you apply is waterproof and you’ll need to reapply once they’re out of the water to be as protected as possible.
Think ahead to bedtime too, the NCT recommends using shades and light coloured curtains to keep bedrooms cool and ensure they, and you, get a restful night's sleep.
To ensure they are cool and comfortable, we’ve picked the hot weather essentials you can shop now.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Paddling pools and parasols
An obvious choice, paddling pools are the closest that most of us will get to a swimming pool at the moment.
Not only can you fill it with cold water to stop little ones overheating it will also keep them entertained for hours.
In our guide to the best paddling pools, our favourite was the Chad Valley 8.5ft volcano activity kids paddling pool (Argos, £35)
There’s a whole world of volcanic fun for tiny tots with this colourful looking water play area, complete with a blow-up slide, palm trees, ring hoop and of course, the volcano itself.
We inflated ours in just under 15 minutes, using a pump, and our little testers felt it easily lived up to their expectations which – believe us – were high. This folds up flat afterwards.
Parasols are also worth investing in as they offer some respite from the sun and provide shade during sunny weather.
The best parasol we reviewed was the Supremo 2.5m crank and tilt Riviera parasol and base (Hayes Garden World, £129.99). Modern and elegant, this hexagonal shaped garden umbrella brings hotel-style luxury to our patio spaces at an affordable price.
The parasol boasts a smooth crank action while its easy tilt is a nifty feature, allowing us to adjust the canopy to suit our position in the sun. This one comes in a range of calming, nature-inspired colours including lavender and pacific blue, but we loved ours in the garden blending old green.
Top marks too for including a super sturdy concrete base in either 15kg or the back-breaking 25kg for added security.
For splashing about, finding the right swimwear for kids is all about striking the right note between style and comfort.
In our guide to the best girls' swimwear, our reviewer discovered these days, kids’ swimwear is pretty impressive.
From super-soft fabrics that dry quickly between dips and offer serious sun protection to snazzy designs that will take you from beach barbecue to bodyboard and back again, there’s something to suit everyone.
Coming out on top was this girls' sporty three-piece swim set (Land’s End, £26).
This swimwear set really appealed to our sports-mad seven-year-old tester. The bikini has cross-back, adjustable elasticated straps so it’s very much for active kids – think surfing rather than sunbathing – and the print isn’t too girly.
The combination of bikini and rash top is great value, making it quick and easy to cover up when it’s time to get out of the sun or come indoors for lunch. The fabric is quick-drying and offers UPF 50 (ultra viloet protection) sun protection, too.
It's long, front-facing zipper makes it easy to get both on and off. Having arms and legs that extend to the elbows and knees, rather than full length, are a benefit because you don’t have to force damp limbs through small holes, and we can imagine we’ll get much longer use out of it as our two-year-old grows.
This also helps the general fit of the suit. At no point did our child tester look restricted in his movements, which has been the case with other all-in-ones we’ve tried.
Protection wise, the material has UPF 50+ coating all the way to the elbows and knees – some suits only provide it in the main body of the suit – and despite this coating, the material is surprisingly thin and lightweight. Consequently, it dries incredibly fast.
As an added extra, the fibre content of the suit comes from used plastic bottles, so this is an eco-friendly choice as well as a fantastic all-rounder. It’s completely changed our view of all-in-ones forever.
According to the NHS, babies and children should wear sunscreen between March and October in the UK. The hottest part of the day is between the hours of 11am and 3pm so its advised to limit their exposure during peak times.
The sun lotion is made from 78 per cent organic ingredients, including aloe vera, beeswax and avocado, sunflower and olive oil, all known for their soothing properties. Eczema, prickly heat and psoriasis won’t be exacerbated by this cream, which is as gentle as you expect from any organic product.
Unlike many natural sunscreens, the consistency is creamy and soft, it rubs well into the skin and although it’s scent-free, it smells faintly of honey, which is actually quite pleasant.
Plus, with every purchase of this product, Green People will donate 30p to the Marine Conservation Society, a UK charity dedicated to protecting the seas, shores and wildlife, so you’ll be simultaneously protecting yourself and the environment. Win, win.
When it to babies, their skin is thin and more fragile, so it produces less melanin – the natural defence mechanism against the harmful rays of the sun – than adults. This means it's necessary to use a separate sunscreen for infants and in our guide to the best baby sunscreen, we rated the SunSense ultra SPF 50+ roll on (JoJo Maman Bebe, £10).
This is a diminutive bottle, perfect for handbags and back pockets and it’s a roll on too, making it ideal for on-the-move, mess-free application. Especially as it’s suitable for everyone – from babies to grown-ups alike. It provides a strong, safe protection from the sun’s hottest rays.
Small babies should not be exposed to direct sun at all, but short of keeping them indoors until they are out of babyhood, this is almost impossible, so applying sunscreen is essential, even on cloudy days.
Finding the right pair of sunglasses for your children is even harder than shopping for your own as little noses aren’t fully formed yet and don’t have bridges which help glasses stick.
But they’re just as important to wear, Dan McGhee, director of professional services at Vision Express told The Independent in our guide to the best sunglasses for kids: “Sunglasses should be worn on babies from as little as six months old, even when it is cloudy. Children’s eyes have clearer lenses which can allow more UV light to reach the eye and penetrate deeper into the retina.
“By the time they reach the age of 18, the internal eye will have absorbed 50 per cent of all the ultraviolet light they will ever absorb in their lifetime. Since damage from UV is cumulative, exposure gained as a child can build up and lead to further problems in the future”.
Our favourite we found were the Kids UV polarized sunglasses (Polarn O. Pyret, £20). They are very sturdy and stay on children’s faces from three years old. Our little boy tester loved them and said they are light to wear and super comfortable.
They are a good price for good quality. We loved that they provide 100 per cent UV protection and the lenses offer high sun glare reduction.
Keep kids hydrated
It goes without saying that when it’s hot, you should make sure kids are getting enough fluids to avoid getting dehydrated.
Plus, it’s a great opportunity to cut down on single-use plastic water bottles and switch to a reusable version which will prevent marine pollution, and of course, save you money. It’s a no-brainer.
In our review of reusable water bottles, the Thermos super light direct drink flask (Lakeland, £21.99) came out on top.
It holds an impressive 350ml of liquid despite its size and is super lightweight too, making it easy to hold for smaller hands.
Hot weather calls for ice cream, sorbet and lollies galore. Whip up frozen treats at home with an ice cream machine, many of which are versatile enough to create any number of desserts.
Our favourite is the Magimix gelato expert (Nisbets, £416.65) which while expensive, is well worth the investment.
If your kids are an ice cream obsessive, it doesn’t get better than this, allowing you to make all the more predictable flavours right through to the weird and wonderful such as roasted pineapple, mascarpone and black pepper ice cream and watermelon and tomato sorbet.
Our reviewer loves the dense but creamy granita. It’s quick, with “cooking time” taking as little as 20 minutes, and consistent in its results, while the three automated programmes make it a doddle to use (for more tailored results, you can override it with manual modes) and it has a generous two litre capacity.
An ice lolly mould is fun too and is a really easy and cheap way to encourage kids to get involved in the kitchen.
This fabulous ice lolly moulds and stand (Lakeland, £4.99) is easy to use and can be made as decadent or as healthy as you like.
All you need to do is add your ingredients, whether you’re opting for fruit and ice, yoghurt, chocolate and sprinkles, close the lids and put in the freezer until frozen enough to eat.
The moulds make six at a time and are dishwasher safe too.
One of the easiest ways to keep cool is with a fan, and will help ensure children’s bedrooms aren't too hot or uncomfortable to stop them getting enough sleep.
This John Lewis and Partners handheld and portable desk fan (John Lewis and Partners, £12) was featured in our guide to the best fans which is small and portable and a great addition to children's bedrooms to help them sleep at night.
Available in four colours, this is a bargain for a nifty little fan with an exceptionally long-lasting rechargeable battery (14 hours run time on the lowest speed setting).
It easily fits into a bag, so you can take it pretty much anywhere, yet it stays stable on a flat surface such as a desk too, where you can stand it upright or tilt it backwards thanks to the flexible stand. When the kids are at school, you can pinch it for you working from home space too.
The noise levels – even on the highest of the three speed settings – are nice and low. You can get fans of this size for cheaper, but we found this to be more powerful, versatile and durable than others we tried