How to protect your little ones sensitive skin and the heat gets intense!
The warm weather beckons. While summer fun is likely starting to trickle into conversations in your home, so should another topic: summer safety…especially if you have a baby and toddler.
Summer is just around the corner, along with your favourite fun-in-the-sun activities. Temperatures around the country will soon climb into the mid 30’s
Newborns are especially vulnerable because they can’t tell you when they are getting too hot; your baby relies on you to keep them cool and hydrated. It may seem obvious, but the dangerous impact of high heat on babies is startling. But before you introduce your baby to the season’s fun, read what top doctors recommend for keeping him protected at all times.
Because many babies can’t tell their parents or caregivers that they’re thirsty, they can become dangerously dehydrated in hot weather, which also can lead to hyperthermia. So, it’s extremely important to be alert to the following warning signs of dehydration in babies:
- Dry mouth or tongue
- Few tears when crying
- Few wet diapers (less than six a day)
- Dark yellow or smelly urine
- Sunken “soft spots,” eyes or cheeks
- Mottled, greyish, skin that’s cool to the touch.
- High fever
If you think your baby is dehydrated, doctors recommend that you try to get him or her to drink an electrolyte replacement solution or water, and call your doctor immediately. Because dehydration causes babies’ core temperature to rise rapidly, it puts them at increased risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
The best way to keep babies safe in the summer heat is to prevent them from becoming overheated and dehydrated in the first place.
Few tips to help your baby keep from overeating if and when you do need to be outside:
- Stay Hydrated:Your baby needs to eat as much as possible on hot summer days to ensure that he or she stays hydrated. Check the diaper often. If your baby isn’t urinating or has not urinated in a while, he or she may be getting dehydrated.
- Keep the Air Moving:It may be tempting to place a blanket or some other covering over a stroller to block the sun. But, more dangerously, these coverings actually limit airflow. Try to keep the air moving by finding shady spots that don’t require anything to cover a stroller.
- Avoid Body Heat:The baby carrier can create too much body heat and leave your little one feeling limp. Try to avoid it, if at all possible, on hot summer days.
- Dress Appropriately:Stick with lightweight and light-colored clothing. What your child wears can greatly influence whether or not he or she overheats on a hot day. Also, consider putting your baby in a hat with a wide brim to help keep the sun away.
- Find Some Shade:Shade is a must on hot days. The temperature can shift greatly simply when you move in and out of the shade, so find a nice spot under a tree where you can feel the breeze and enjoy the day with your baby.
- Use Plenty of Sunscreen:If your baby is under 6 months, use some SPF 15 on just his or her hands, feet and face when you can’t avoid the sun. Sunscreen isn’t typically recommended for babies under 6 months, but it’s needed in direct sun situations.
Tips for babies
- Keep babies under one year out of direct sunlight to prevent skin damage and dehydration. Never let them play or sleep in the sun.
- Keep babies in the shade, under a tree, an umbrella, or a canopy. Never leave children in a parked vehicle.
- Remember, sunscreen will protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays, but will not protect children from the heat.
- Give lots of cool liquids. Water or breast milk are best.
- Do not put sunscreen on a baby less than 6 months old without asking your health care provider first.
- Never use baby oil to protect children from the sun. It will not protect them and will do them more harm.
Tips for children
- Follow the UV index readings each day to plan outdoor activities.
- The sun’s UVB rays are strongest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and it is also usually the hottest time of day. Unless the child is protected, keep them out of the sun during these hours.
- In strong sunlight, have children wear a rimmed, breathable sun hat and sunglasses, and cover their skin with clothes or sunscreen.
- Get your children used to wearing sunscreen lotion early on. Pay close attention to the areas that are most exposed, like their face, lips, ears, neck, shoulders, back, knees, and the tops of their feet.
- Never let young children stay in the sun for long periods, even when wearing sunscreen.