Menu
Woman with Child in Mask
Hello Africa via Getty Images

It's hard not to feel sympathy for children wearing masks in the summer heat. Young kids may struggle to understand why they need to wear a mask and keep it on, especially when it gets uncomfortable and sweaty.

But with COVID-19 cases rising in most states this summer, mamas everywhere are trying their best to stay safe and follow mask-wearing guidelines, even when it's hot.

Protect yourself and your family with these expert tips for staying cool in a mask this summer.


Wear a wide-brimmed hat.

On sunny, hot and humid summer days, experts suggest wearing a wide-brimmed hat can help mamas and kids alike stay cool.

Especially if you have to run errands outside or plan on staying outdoors for a while, a wide-brimmed hat will shade your face from direct sun, keeping you cool and protected—and keeping your mask from absorbing additional heat.

Choose the right mask.

Although masks are recommended by experts and required in most places to help stop the spread of COVID-19, that doesn't mean every mask works the same. Choosing the right mask, one that is comfortable and made with breathable fibers, can make a big difference in keeping the family cool this summer.

Xenia Chen, the founder of Threads, a Toronto based tights company that has switched to making masks in the wake of the pandemic, suggests wearing masks made of lighter colored material. "Black absorbs heat and can make you hotter faster," Chen notes. As one news program recently demonstrated, the difference in temperature between a dark fabric mask and a light-colored mask can be as much as ten degrees.

Chen also suggests looking for a mask with plenty of room between the nose and mouth. A mask that is constructed of tented fabric over the face, rather than a mask that fits closely to the face, will offer better ventilation on hot days. "We have designed our masks with extra fabric in the middle so it gives more space to talk and breathe," Chen says.

As Dr. David Aranoff, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, tells NBC News, wearing a face shield can be an effective alternative to wearing a mask.

"These are inexpensive, can be washed easily and reused," Dr. Aranoff said. "Since face shields reach from the forehead to below the chin and around to cover the ears, they can be more comfortable than masks for some."

Limit time spent outdoors when it's very hot.

On very hot days, heat stroke and heat exhaustion are serious concerns for adults and kids. Especially for those with underlying health conditions and respiratory problems, time spent outdoors should be carefully planned.

Dr. Matthew Levy, the associate professor of emergency medicine at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, stresses the importance of being smart about how you spend time outdoors in a mask.

"The same precautions we would ask people who are at risk for heat illness to take, we would recommend here, too," he noted, like going out later when it's cooler.

To keep you and the kids safe, strategizing in advance which days are best for outdoor play is an easy way to beat the heat while wearing a mask. Make regular checks of the forecast part of your planning routine and schedule errands and outdoor play for cooler morning hours.

Skip makeup + wear lightweight sunscreen on your face.

The heat can already be a deterrent for wearing makeup, but with the addition of a mask, things can get especially messy. Once sweat mixes with your makeup under your mask, you're looking at a recipe for "maskne" and skin irritation.

As Carrie Kovarik, a dermatology professor at the University of Pennsylvania tells AARP magazine, "You don't have the ability to have sweat evaporate when you have the mask on. It all sits there and collects." Instead, apply sunscreen and water-based moisturizer to your face to protect against sunburn and potential skin irritation.

Be sure to bring extra masks along on your next trip outside: If your mask or your child's mask gets sweaty, replace it with a clean, dry one.

Stay hydrated.

Drinking a lot of water in the summer is essential—and it's especially important for staying cool while wearing a mask.

Symptoms of intense exposure to heat like dizziness and fatigue can be heightened when not properly hydrated while wearing a face covering.

Moms should keep reusable water bottles handy to make sure the family is staying hydrated while outdoors—fill your water bottles with ice cubes to keep them extra cold. Another tip is to pack along coolants like ice packs for quick relief from the heat. Placing a cold pack, cold washcloth, or even a frozen teething ring on your child's head for a few minutes when it's hot out is a quick mom hack to combat the heat.

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

20 baby names that mean miracle—and will never go out of style

In these extraordinary times, we could all use some small miracles.

Meaningful baby names will never go out of style. Whether you decide to name your newborn after a beloved family member, or are simply searching for a name that reflects the journey that led you to parenthood, whatever you choose will stick with you for the rest of your—and your child's—life.

Almost every parent, at some point, refers to their child as a "miracle," though the meaning of the word itself might differ depending on who you're talking to. Miracle is a beautiful word that can double as a name, but there are many other thoughtful baby names to choose from if you're considering giving your baby a name that suggests an extraordinary event, a gift from above or a rare wonder.

Whether you're looking for a familiar name with a miraculous history, such as Aaron, or you're searching for a unique name that means "rare miracle," such as Ender, there are so many choices for both girls and boys that are equally as meaningful as they are interesting. Choosing a baby name with the special meaning of "miracle" is a signal of hope and optimism—and in these extraordinary times, we could all use some small miracles.

Putting a unique twist on a beautiful classic isn't hard with these baby names that mean "miracle."

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play