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Raising a family in a tropical climate can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Living in the tropics is very different to living in other regions in Australia as our climate presents some unique challenges. With the right preparation and care, you can ensure your family has a safe and enjoyable life in the tropics.

Here are five things parents in NQ need to know.

  1. Keep Your Family Sunsafe and Cool

The sun can be particularly harsh in the tropics. To protect your children from the sun, seek shade when possible and dress them in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres (like 100% cotton or lyocell) that cover their arms, chest and legs. Source sunglasses that are fitted with category 3 or 4 lenses to absorb UV radiation to protect their eyes, a broad-brimmed hat and SPF 30+ minimum sunscreen that is gentle on the skin. Note that The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends waiting until your baby is 6 months old before introducing them to sunscreen. In most cases it is best to keep your baby in the shade as much as possible, however shade only provides partial protection against UV rays. UV pram covers offer sun protection and keep bugs out, but they can get hot so be aware. A portable fan that you can attach to the pram is a great addition.  


Staying hydrated is key, so have water bottles ready to go for each member of the family. We love insulated bottles so everyone can enjoy ice cold water. Bath times and waterplay in cool water are also great to control body temperature when it’s a hot day. 

Cars can get very hot in the tropics and car seats should always be checked before buckling the kids in as the buckles can get so hot that they can burn the skin. Park in the shade when possible and use sun shades on the windows and use breathable car seat covers. You can also buy material covered ice packs that can go in car seats and prams to keep them cool too, or cool the car down with air conditioning before hopping in. 

Keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion, such as normal or mildly higher body temperature, cool, pale clammy skin, excessive sweating, thirst, headache, muscle cramps, rapid, weak pulse and fainting or dizziness. Help them to a cooler environment, loosen clothing, immerse their hands and feet in water and give them frequent small drinks of water. Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.


  1. Water Safety

Living in the tropics is perfect for spending days at the beach, at a swimming hole or in the pool. Constant supervision is a must as is keeping your child within arm’s reach and avoiding distractions. A toddler or child can drown in 5 centimetres of water. Every exposed water source, no matter how shallow, poses a significant danger. Swimming lessons are invaluable and highly recommended for everyone. If you have your own pool at home ensure the pool’s fence is in good condition so your toddler can’t slip through the bars. Attending a first aid course and learning CPR is key to knowing what to do when managing an emergency around water.


  1. Stinger Season

Stinger season occurs from the first of November to the start of May. During this season a good choice would be to visit your local pools or set up water activities at home but don’t let the stingers stop you from visiting the beach. There are plenty of activities you can do with your family at the beach that don’t involve water, like enjoying a picnic, playing on the shore and making sandcastles. If you do want to go in the ocean during stinger season, invest in stinger suits that cover feet and hands too – they are great for sun protection which is also a bonus, and always swim in stinger nets. 


  1. Crocs Live Here Too 

Part of living in North Queensland is having to be aware that crocodiles live here too. Never swim where there are crocodile warning signs and never leave your children unsupervised when near our waterways. Always be crocwise and report croc sightings as soon as possible. You can learn more at 


  1. Mozzies and Midges

The tropics are beautiful but also the perfect environment for mosquitos and sandflies. Keep your family safe from those nasty buzzing pests by dressing them in long sleeved clothes and pants, be sure that the clothing is loose and lightweight to avoid overheating. Another measure to keep mosquitoes away is using mosquito repellent patches. BuzzPatch Mosquito Repellent Patches are designed for young children and can be put onto babies’ clothing. It’s natural, effective and is non-toxic, and can last up to 72 hours.

While we do have some unique things to be aware of, overall, living in the tropics is amazing. The warm climate, beautiful scenery, and exotic wildlife make the tropics an ideal place to raise a family.


  • PakMag Writer

    PakMag has a number of contributors and writers who sometimes like to remain anonymous so here is a collection of the articles and stories. Enjoy!