This is a guest post by Emily Hodges. Emily is a Marketing Communications Specialist for Comfort Up, a provider of indoor and outdoor heating and cooling systems. Emily oversees all marketing-related functions from their Miami, FL office. In her spare time, she loves all things interior design and has helped many friends completely renovate their homes.
The best part of summer is spending time outside and taking advantage of the beautiful weather. However, it’s important to stay safe as the temperature skyrockets and the sun beats down from above. Young children and babies are much more at risk during extreme heat than adults. Fortunately, there are a variety of different ways to keep your baby comfortable during a heatwave. Read below for tips for heat safety for babies.
Heat Safety for Babies: 6 Simple Tips
Proper hydration is one of the most important ways to keep your baby safe during the hot summer. Babies are already sensitive to dehydration, so they should drink more fluids during the summer. Since infants under six months cannot drink water, liquids are replenished by them nursing more frequently or by increasing their formula intake.
If you are nursing, you should also be properly hydrated. Your baby depends on you for its fluid intake. If your baby is over six months and able to drink water, you can also give them diluted juice or ice cubes. Fruits and vegetables are another great source of hydration for babies who are old enough to eat them.
Air conditioning offers crucial protection against heat-related illnesses and death in babies. Make sure your house has functioning air conditioning to protect your baby from the extreme heat this summer. There are a variety of different choices available to cool your home, such as central air systems or ductless air conditioners. Different systems have a variety of unique benefits, so there is always something to meet your home’s specific heating and cooling needs.
The most important room in your house is the baby’s bedroom, and it must be kept at a cool and comfortable temperature at all times. Keeping it cooler than the rest of the house is beneficial for the baby’s health, as they will sleep better and be more comfortable. Babies sleep best when their bedroom is between 68°F and 72°F.
If you have a baby, multi-zone technologies are perfect for your home. They are an innovative technology that utilizes ductless air conditioners and allows you to control the temperature of each room individually without affecting other rooms. With one outdoor compressor connected to up to eight indoor air conditioner units, you can keep your baby’s room a couple of degrees cooler than the rest of the house. There are many other ways to keep their bedroom cool. For example, you could install a ceiling fan or keep the blinds closed during the day.
Don’t Leave Your Baby Unattended in a Parked Car
On a hot summer day, your car acts like an oven. The temperature inside skyrockets even if the air conditioner runs, the car is parked in the shade, or the window is down. Therefore, you should never leave your child unattended in a parked car.
Even if you are running inside for a few brief moments, don’t leave your baby alone. In a hot car, a baby is at risk for quick overheating and dehydration. The metal seat belt buckles also heat up drastically and could burn your baby’s skin. If you leave the house with your baby, make sure you can bring them inside your destination.
Limit Your Baby’s Outdoor Time
To keep your baby safe and comfortable this summer, you can limit the amount of time spent outdoors. While some sun rays are good for health, overexposure to the sweltering summer heat can turn hazardous. Babies under six months should not be in direct sunlight because their skin does not contain enough melanin to provide protection from the sun. Older infants should also limit their time in the sun, especially during the middle of the day when outside temperatures are hottest.
However, there are still ways to enjoy the outdoors over the summer. Make sure there is plenty of shade for them, such as a canopy, tree, or umbrella. You can also teach them how to swim in shallow water or let them relax in a kiddie pool – with proper supervision and protection, of course.
Dress Your Baby Properly
If you do bring your baby outside, make sure they are dressed properly. Light-weight and light-colored clothes are a great way to keep your child cool, safe, and comfortable this summer. Darker-colored clothes attract more sunlight, and heavier clothes increase their body temperature.
You could also keep them cool AND stylish with sunglasses or a hat. Your baby should also wear light clothes while they sleep. Coupled with their chilled bedroom, this is a great way to keep them cool and comfortable at night.
Utilize Sunscreen, Lotion, and Other Skin Soothers
Babies have very sensitive skin and are susceptible to sunburn easier than older children and adults. Luckily, there are products that you can use to help them stay safe and protected from the sun this summer.
For babies under six months, apply a minimal amount of sunscreen if they will be exposed to the sun for any amount of time. For babies over six months, you can use sunscreen more generously and apply it every two hours. You should make sure the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is at least 15, and you should also apply it under their clothing. Some thinner t-shirts are not protective enough for the sensitive skin of a baby.
Sunscreen is not the only skincare technique that can help your baby this summer. For example, if your baby develops a heat rash, apply cornstarch baby powder to the affected area. There are also lotions and moisturizers available to help cure any sunburns and protect from the sun. Finally, over the counter medicines such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen help reduce any pain from sunburn.
Final Thoughts: Heat Safety for Babies
Now that you know how to keep your baby safe and comfortable in the extreme heat, you’re ready for summer! It’s also important to keep a close eye on your baby and be aware of any symptoms of dehydration or hyperthermia. If you notice symptoms such as excessive sweating, red skin, vomiting, or anything else out of the ordinary, seek medical attention immediately.
What other tips for heat safety for babies do you have? Drop them down in the comments below!
Amy is a mom of two, freelance writer, and blog manager who works with family-focused businesses to improve their content strategies. You can find her published work on Reader’s Digest Online, MSN, Niche, Frugal For Less, and other lifestyle publications.