By Jamell Andrews
With the hot days of summer fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about keeping your baby safe and healthy as the temperatures rise. While there is certainly no need to stay inside all summer and miss out on the fun that the season has to offer, there are some precautions you should take to protect your baby.
When the Temperature Rises
Babies’ bodies don’t have the ability to regular body temperature like adults do and have a much harder time cooling off when it gets hot. If the temperature climbs above 80 degrees, then you might want to plan to stay indoors where it’s cooler.
Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Your baby may not be able to tell you with words that something is wrong, but if you pay attention and know the signs, you will be able to spot heat exhaustion. The following are signs to look out for when taking your baby out on a hot day:
- Irritability and crankiness
- Flushed skin
- Decreased urine
- Loss of appetite
If your baby exhibits any of these signs, seek medical attention right away.
How to Keep Your Baby from Overheating
If you are spending time outdoors this summer, be sure to use the following tips to help keep your baby from overheating.
Dress baby appropriately. Keep your baby cool by dressing her in loose, lightweight clothing, preferably in lighter colors. Cotton is the most breathable option. Don’t forget a hat that provides enough shade to your baby’s face and neck.
Stay in the shade. Look for shady spots under trees and awnings or bring your own umbrella or sun shelter to keep your baby out of direct sunlight and as cool as possible.
Keep them hydrated. Regular feedings will help newborns stay hydrated. Older babies should be given water in a bottle or sippy cup to stay hydrated. If you notice a decrease in the amount of wet diapers, then your baby may be dehydrated.
Don’t cover car seats or strollers with blankets. Throwing a blanket or towel over your baby’s seat or stroller may seem like a good way to give them shade in a pinch, but even a lightweight blanket can cause the temperature to rise even more. Use a clip-on sunshade or umbrella instead.
Keep babies under 6 months out of direct sunlight. If adequate clothing or shade is not available then you’ll need to head indoors. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that babies under 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight. Sunscreen is also not recommended for babies under 6 months. If your baby develops sunburn, get them out of the sun immediately and apply cold compresses to the area.
A little common sense will go a long way in keeping your baby healthy and happy this summer.