The summer is a time for outdoor fun and vacations and a time of high humidity and temperatures. While your little ones can handle small doses of heat, you must learn how to keep your baby cool during summer by seeking time in the shade or air-conditioned spaces.
Also, remember the sun is not your child's enemy. You can read so much about skin protection and the dangers of UV rays, but your little one can benefit from a few minutes of direct daily exposure. Direct sunlight provides UVB rays essential to vitamin D levels in the body. Twenty minutes in the sun without sunscreen is all a little one needs to get their daily vitamin supply.
If you don't like sending your child out to play without sunscreen, consider giving them a supplement, such as Wellements Organic Vitamin D Drops or Organic Fruit Bite Vitamin D Gummies. A supplement can help reduce the risks of potential deficiencies but always talk to your child's healthcare providers before adding anything to their diet.
While the summer sun is beneficial, it can also contribute to rising temperatures. Some temperatures are dangerous for your little ones, so you must always be mindful when letting your kids out to play.
Temperatures To Watch Out For
Always check local weather reports and the heat index before taking your children outside for the day, especially infants. Infants do not sweat like adults and therefore have trouble regulating body temperature.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests keeping babies in a cooled indoor environment when the heat index is over 90°F. Prolonged outdoor exposure on hot days can cause little ones to overheat quickly, and they cannot tell their parents.
Take frequent breaks Whenever you go outside in the summer, especially on warmer days. Medical professionals recommend taking breaks every 15 to 30 minutes in the shade or air-conditioning.
You should also try to keep your baby's nursery between 68°F and 72°F. Coolness is vital when infants sleep because overheating can put them at risk for SIDS.
Signs Your Baby is Too Hot
When you take your baby outside in the summer, you must watch them closely for signs of overheating. Some of the warning signs your little one is too hot include:
- Flushed face
- Extreme drowsiness or fatigue
- Disinterest in drinking or feeding
- Sweatiness — Sweating may not be as evident in infants as in toddlers or older children.
Take your child indoors at the first sign of overheating. You want to get them into a cool space; you can help cool them down with a cool bath or washcloth. Also, change them out of sweaty clothes and into dry summer baby clothes. To prevent dehydration, offer them something to drink.
If several hours pass and your little one is still avoiding the bottle or has not wet a diaper, take them to see their doctor. If vomiting, muscle spasms, or rapid breathing accompany the overheating, take your baby to the emergency room; these are signs of severe dehydration and heat illness.
Ways To Keep Your Baby Cool During Summer
Even if the heat index doesn't reach 90°F or above, you must take precautions with your little ones. In many locations, typical summer temperatures fluctuate between 75°F and 80°F, which still present risks of overheating.
Always choose a play area near shaded spaces and out of direct sunlight to protect your children. Also, bring plenty of drinks to keep children and babies hydrated, including formula or breast milk. Children at least six months old can drink water.
Make sure to dress your baby and children in cool clothing, preferably single layers. Cotton and linen fabrics are lightweight and ideal for the summer. Try to avoid synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester.
Finally, schedule rest times and avoid taking your little ones during the hottest times of the day. Early mornings or later evenings are ideal times for outdoor play and activities. Keep children indoors when the sun is at its highest.
Protecting Your Baby's Skin
While the sun contributes to vitamin D requirements, you must protect your little ones from too much exposure. Infants under six months should not wear sunscreen because of possible irritation, so keep them out of direct sunlight. Find shaded areas to play in or use a covered stroller or umbrella to protect them.
Apply fragrance-free, hypoallergenic sunscreen for babies and toddlers six months and older. You'll need to find broad-spectrum protection with at least SPF 30. Also, reapply the sunscreen every two hours, depending on the activity.
Learning how to keep babies cool in summer is essential for their health and wellness. Little ones are more vulnerable to the world, so the parent's job is to do everything they can to protect them.