I absolutely love the summer months and being outdoors, taking walks in the evenings, swimming, gardening, BBQs, picnics at the park--all of it! Having children made all these activities even more enjoyable (and a bit more work 😉). To continue having fun in the sun we made a few modifications to our plans to keep babies and big kids safe while having a good time outside.
1. Avoid the hottest part of the day. The day is hottest from 11am-3pm so plan most of your outdoor activities either before or after peak heat hours. If being outside is unavoidable during peak heat hours, stay in the shade.
2. Dress the baby appropriately. Just like in the winter when you dress baby to stay warm, in the summer months you’ll want to dress baby in breathable light clothing.
3. Increase liquids. If you’re a breastfeeding mom and the baby is under six months nursing more frequently will help your baby stay hydrated and beat the heat. If the baby is six months or older than the small amounts of water interspersed throughout the day, that is fine.
4. Take breaks. Schedule breaks to head indoors and get out of the sun, especially if you’re out during peak heat hours 11am-3pm.
5. Use accessories like cool compress or mini fan. If a baby is traveling in a stroller, attach a mini fan to their stroller to cool them off or if in a baby carrier you can use a cool compress or wet wipe on the back of their neck, hands, legs, and feet to keep them cool.
6. Get in the water! Head to the splash pad or go for a dip in the pool or beach. Just remember to use sunscreen when in the sun –it takes 30 min to be effective and follow the instructions on the label for how often you need to reapply. Care givers should also be able to recognize signs that the baby is getting too hot and take the necessary steps to prevent heat stroke.
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Signs that the baby is overheating:
The back of their neck is hot to the touch
Infants should have 6-8 wet diapers in a 24hr period, so if they drop below 6 wet diapers they could be dehydrated.
They have flushed, red cheeks