Toronto went through a heat wave that began Friday, June 29th, 2018 and didn’t let up until Friday, July 6th. The humidex had temperatures feeling as high as 45 degrees Celsius or 116 degrees Fahrenheit. With me being well into my sixth month of pregnancy, bordering the seventh, I wanted to stay indoors. I wanted the A/C blasting, I wanted to be strutting around my apartment in my underwear eating ice cream and waffles completely unaware of how hot it really was out there.
Unfortunately, I am an adult and have to do this annoying thing called ‘work’ which meant I had to venture outdoors. The kids I work with were also feeling heavy because of the heat which meant it was easy to convince them to stay inside with me on the Friday, however, I had already agreed to take my mother, my sister and my nephew to Niagara Falls over Canada Day weekend.
Now for anyone who has been to Niagara Falls, most people tend to spend their days outdoors enjoying all the attractions. There is everything from haunted houses, mini golf, 4D theatre experiences, arcades and of course the new go-kart track. Needless to say, convincing an eight-year old that I wanted to be inside somewhere where it was cool was like talking to a psychiatrist while in a straight-jacket.
I dressed for the weather, wearing as little as I possibly could. A thin cotton dress on both days with some comfortable, yet breathable shoes that I could walk in all day without feeling like I suddenly had hams for feet. Needless to say, even drinking litres of water and migrating into the arcade where the AC was blasting every so often, I still felt like I was melting right out of my skin, and my baby was kicking the crap out of my ribs letting me know how foolish I was being for trying to beat the heat.
I felt like I had been wandering the Sahara for weeks, hallucinating a praying for a sudden snow storm or something to ease the constant burn of the sun.
What completely blew my mind was the amount of new moms I saw out with babies that couldn’t have been more than a month old. Tiny, tiny babies out in the scorching heat while their parents walked around enjoying the attractions.
Call it pregnancy hormones, but seeing this made me completely livid.
It was boiling, unbearably so. I was already feeling like I was a toddler about to throw a tantrum if I went more than half an hour without an ice-cold drink and getting out of the sun, just imagine how these poor babes must have felt.
I am not a parent yet, sure, but I like to think I have a lot of common sense. I know that babies, much like our furry friends, can not sweat. Why is this a big deal? Well, because sweating is our body’s way of trying to cool itself off. What does not being able to sweat mean? Well, it means that you have no way of regulating your own temperature and are more likely to suffer a heat stroke.
After some research, I found out that most pediatricians suggest keeping your baby, especially a newborn inside if temperatures rise above 26 degrees Celsius or 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidex put it well above that.
After seeing people cart their pets and newborns around in that heat, I wondered what in the world they were thinking. Could they not feel the heat? Do these people not care about the overall health and well-being of their pets and their beautiful babes?
When it comes to my dog and the weather, I do not take any chances. I press my hand to the cement and hold it there to be sure it’s not too hot for my dog’s paws. If it is, I carry him over to the grassy area in front of our building for him to do his business and then take him back in, saving a longer walk for exercise for later in the evening when it cools down.
With my baby, I would definitely not be taking them out for too long in the heat… no less someplace crowded with little places to hide from the weather like Niagara Falls.
I don’t like to think of myself as a judgmental person. Most times I shrug my shoulders, tell myself it’s their life and their decision and go on with my life. Two instances where I can absolutely not keep myself from being overly judgemental is when it comes to the health and safety of animals and children.
Get your s**t together people. If it is too hot for you, it is most definitely too hot for your infants and you pets.
There is no way for them to beat the heat, so it is up to you to pretend to be a responsible adult that knows what they are doing, and keep them indoors!