It is getting warmer and warmer in Hong Kong. Temperatures are ranging between 30-32 degrees C (the upper 80’s in F). The temperature is one thing, but the humidity is where it gets you. To put it into perspective, I have very straight hair, but here in Hong Kong, it looks like I have curly hair. Your glasses fog up when you walk outside from an air conditioned building. You sweat just thinking of being outside. With conditions like this, when you are pushing a baby stroller, you walk outside of the apartment and say, “oh boy, it’s warm out here”, and then you walk about 20 more steps and you say, “sh*t, it’s hot.” See, that’s what heat + humidity + baby stroller does to you 😉
This is not the hottest weather I have ever lived it, and if it were just me, I would not be too concerned about it. But the thing is, I can take a drink of cold water any time I want, or go into a cold building along the way to cool down, or decide what to do. But the little guy can’t. He’s stuck with me wherever we go, and if he gets hot (which he sometimes does), there is little he can do but whine. And when he does, I don’t blame him, because the reality is, he is whining for a good reason: it sucks to be a baby in this heat.
As you may have noticed, most of our time is spent on the go to various things – play dates, baby swim, trips to the city for different errands, and so on. This all involves a lot of time outside, which is good for me and good for him. There is of course a tipping point where it is no longer good for either of us, and that’s when the heat and humidity make us sweat a lot and make us dehydrated. Fortunately I do have the little guy well covered and give him plenty of opportunities to take some water, and he is not illustrating any symptoms of dehydration – but it is still something to watch out for.
So, what do we do now if we should limit our outside time? The answer is all about parenting philosophy, I guess. Do I want to be a parent who sits at home with the child, or do I want to be one who is active with the child? I know that both me and the little guy would go crazy sitting at home most of the day, but also those socializing things like play dates are really good and important for him (and they are also good for me, too). So, I think we must find those optimal times of day to go places, such as morning and afternoon. Then, when we are there, stay there maybe a little longer than we would during cooler weather. For example if we want to go to baby swim at 13:00, then we should go to the place earlier, so that we are not walking outside when it is the hottest part of the day. Then we could be there from 13:00 until 15:00, and after that we should be OK to walk home. Or, fit in some breaks along the way to places like the Supermarket, which internationally are always colder in temperature. In Hong Kong, there are also many malls, so you could strategically set your route to include walking thru these (in Central in particular, you can walk a long way up in the various overhead paths between buildings and the different malls).
So I guess the answer is not really “less outside time”, but “smarter outside time” when it is hotter. It also never hurts to buy a fan to put on the stroller, which can’t drop the heat, but at least it gives some air flow for the little guy.