Your baby is here, just in time for summer fun. As a new parent you likely have concerns about your newborn’s safety during the warm summer months. Here are some tips to help out!
Be Aware of How Vulnerable a New Baby Is to the Heat
- Babies’ body temperatures rise much more rapidly that adults do, and of course babies can’t tell us how they feel. So, be very aware of maintaining a reasonable temperature for your newborn’s environment. Most U.S. heat stroke deaths occur in infants.
- Heat stroke is possible on a crisp, cool day. How? The air inside a car can rise to 100 ° F when it’s 60 ° F outside. So remember not to leave your baby in a car. Not even with a responsible person. Not even for a short time.
- Overheating, according to the National Institutes of Health, can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The warmer the baby is, the more deeply the baby tends to sleep, which is why the risk goes up.
Now that we’ve covered why this is so important, here are some tips that will form good habits and let you have fun too.
Dress the Baby for Summer
A baby can wear light, summery clothes. A long-sleeved shirt is best in the sunshine, wide-brimmed hat to keep sun off the baby’s delicate facial skin and neck. Don’t forget than sunrays do penetrate clouds, so don’t leave baby skin exposed even if it’s cloudy out. Babies under 6 months need continual protection from heat and from even indirect sunlight.
A rosy face, restlessness, or fast breathing can signal an urgent need for fluid. Babies should drink at least 50 percent more than usual in the summer, so if your baby typically takes in 20 ounces a day, offer at least 30 ounces on a summer day. Newborns shouldn’t drink water, so they need to nurse more frequently. So mothers need more water too!
Seek the Shade
Avoid being outdoors between 10 a.m. and mid-afternoon. Shade is a baby’s friend. Do use shades for infant car seats. They keep your baby’s space cooler.
Keep light wraps or blankets handy, to ease your baby’s temperature transition as you move from one space to another. Then, enjoy the fresh air from a place in the shade.
Check Your Newborn’s Skin
When your baby is playing in the water, use sunscreen. As noted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, most sun damage to our skin happens when we’re small. So:
- Apply a dab of sunscreen with 15 SPF (sun protection factor) or higher on a baby under 6 months of age. Focus on the back of the baby’s hands and on the face.
- Wait 30 minutes after applying to go outside.
Check for rashes on the folds of your baby’s skin and on the neck area. Baby powder with cornstarch can soothe skin rashes. Staying inside in a cool room with good ventilation also helps.
Bathing in tepid water, then resting under a window or ceiling fan set on low power is very refreshing for you and your baby.
Infants at risk of overheating feel hot to the touch. Never apply cold water to sunburned skin. A cool, dampened cloth is best.
With these tips in mind, and paying attention to your concerns, summer with your baby should be a breeze.