Safety Tips for Babies During Summer

Sunny summer days are perfect for adventures whether it’s a picnic or an inflatable paddling pool in a shady spot in the garden. This is also a great time to create precious family memories together that you will reminisce about for years to come. Summer safety is always important but even more so when you have a baby. Whether you’re outdoors enjoying the clear skies or indoors trying to escape the soaring temperatures, stay vigilant and make sure that your baby is comfortable and able to enjoy the day.

Safety Tips for Babies During Summer

1. Use baby-safe Sunscreen

Don’t use your sunscreen on your little one because your baby’s skin is very delicate. Invest in a gentle baby-safe sunscreen that will protect your baby’s skin when you go outside. Look for a broad- spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and apply it on all exposed skin. Avoid chemical sunscreens as these often contain chemicals called endocrine disruptors which are linked to hormone disruption. Instead, use a mineral sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as they are not absorbed by the skin but form a protective barrier on the surface. There are many baby-safe sunscreens in the market but dermatologists’ advice on the best sunscreens for babies can help you choose the right sunscreen for your tiny tot.

2. Stay in the Shade

While sunscreen is very effective in protecting your baby’s skin, you should avoid using it if your little one is less than six months old. Instead, provide shade from direct sunlight by using a pushchair that has a sunshade. You should also avoid taking your baby out during peak sun hours (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.) as this is when the sun is strongest.

3. Skip hot water Baths

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to bathe your baby every day. According to NHS recommendations, you can use the “topping and tailing” method instead where you just wash the face, neck, hands and bottom. Use a mild cleanser and avoid any product that contains alcohol as this will strip your baby’s skin of natural oils. In summer, it’s best to avoid hot water baths and use tepid water instead to help your baby cool down.

4. Use Appropriate Clothing

Even if you are indoors, your baby still needs to be protected from the heat. This is because a baby’s body is less effective at regulating temperature, and they can overheat quickly compared to adults. Dress your baby in lightweight and loose-fitting clothing made from cotton or other breathable fabrics. Light colors are also more effective at reflecting heat than dark colors so it would best to stick with light-colored clothing. If you notice that your baby is unusually restless or irritable, make sure that they are not overheating.

5. Create a Comfortable Environment

During summer, create a cool environment for your baby with fans or air conditioning. Don’t position your baby directly under the fan or air conditioner but instead use these appliances to cool down the entire room. Ideally, your baby’s room temperature should be 20-22°C.

6. Monitor Body Temperature

Regularly check your baby’s temperature by feeling their chest or back. If your child seems to be warm, adjust their clothing or environment to help them cool down.

7. Ensure Adequate Fluid Intake

Your baby can become dehydrated quickly in hot weather so make sure that you breastfeed or offer additional bottles of formula or water throughout the day. If you notice fewer wet diapers, lethargy or dry mouth, call your doctor or pediatrician immediately as these are signs of dehydration.

8. Prepare Fresh Feeds

Follow a regular preparation routine as this will make it easier to ensure that everything is clean for your little one. All your equipment, bottles or bags need to be clean and sterilized. You also need to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before you prepare your baby’s bottle. If you are using packaged baby food, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to prepare it.

9. Store Food Correctly

Store freshly expressed breast milk in the fridge and use it within 24 hours. If expressed milk is kept out, harmful bacteria can grow in it. If you are feeding your baby formula milk, make it fresh for each feed and if there is any left over after a feed, throw it away. You should also store any opened jars of baby food in the fridge and use it within 1-2 days. Storage guidelines for baby foods are particularly important during summer because the heat can make foods spoil much faster.

10. Avoid Cross-Contamination

Do not feed your baby directly from a food jar because bacteria from your baby’s mouth will be transferred to the jar via the spoon. This will contaminate the food and if it is kept aside, the bacteria will quickly multiply and can make your baby sick. This is a common problem in summer because bacteria multiply much faster in a warm and humid environment.

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