How to keep your baby safe in summer
Keep your baby cool and protect them from the sun. Babies and young children can become ill during very hot weather
For example, their health can be seriously affected by:
- heat exhaustion
Try these tips for keeping your child happy and healthy in the heat.
● Keep your baby out of the sun as much as possible, especially when the sun is at its strongest (between 11am to 3pm). If you do go out on a hot day, attach a sunshade to the pushchair to keep them out of direct sunlight.
● Remember to apply high factor sunscreen. Many brands are formulated specifically for babies and young children, offering a total sun protection factor (SPF) of 50 plus. Apply the sunscreen regularly, particularly if your child is in and out of the sea or a paddling pool.
● A sun-hat, preferably one with a wide brim or a long flap at the back, will protect your child’s head and neck from the sun.
● Drink plenty of fluids so you and your baby don’t get dehydrated.
● If you’re breastfeeding your baby, you don’t need to give them water as well as breast milk. However, they may want to breastfeed a little more than usual.
● If your baby is more than 6 months old , in addition to their usual milk feeds, you can give your baby cooled boiled water throughout the day. If your baby wakes at night, they’ll probably want milk but if they’ve had their usual milk feeds, try cooled boiled water as well.
● Try being creative to keep your infant hydrated. If your baby is over six months old and they get bored with water, try giving them a combination of very diluted fruit juices, ice cubes and homemade fruit juice lollies throughout the day. For older toddlers and children, plenty of fruit and salad will also help to keep their fluid levels up.
● Playing in a paddling pool will help to keep babies and children cool. Remember to keep the pool in the shade and supervise the children carefully at all times.
● A cool bath before bed is often beneficial.
● Keep bedrooms cool throughout the day by keeping blinds or curtains closed. You can also use a fan to circulate the air in the room.
● Keep nightwear and bedclothes to a minimum. If your child kicks or pushes off the covers in the night, consider putting them in just a diaper or handmade “katha” nappies.
● A nursery thermometer will help you to monitor the room temperature. Your baby will sleep most comfortably when the room is between 16°C (61°F) and 20°C (68°F).
● For those who can afford it, an AC is your child’s room may be beneficial but it is not always the solution to the heat. Try to keep your AC on at 24 degrees and not lower than that. If you can afford it, buy a humidifier for your baby’s room because a constantly running AC can irritate your baby’s air passages and make them develop a cold.
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