Helping Baby Beat the Summer Heat

June 7th, 2013 posted by Rebecca Brea

Helping Baby Beat the Summer Heat

With bright, sunny days and warmer weather beckoning us outdoors, excursions to the park, beach – even our backyards – are as welcome as a frosty pitcher of lemonade on a sultry day.  But special care should be exercised for little ones in the sun, especially those 18 months and younger, so they are kept cool, comfortable and safe this summer.  Here are some tips to help baby beat the summer heat:

Clothing:  Dress baby in loose fitting, light colored garments, preferably made from a natural fiber like cotton.  Lightweight long pants and long-sleeved shirts, along with a wide-brimmed hat, will protect baby’s delicate skin.  And don’t forget the UV ray-blocking baby sunglasses to protect baby’s eyes.

Sunscreen:  Remember that the sun’s rays can get through on cloudy days too, so it’s important to apply sunscreen any time baby is going to be outdoors.  Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.  Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating.  Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics has approved the use of a small amount of SPF 15 sunscreen on the face and the backs of hands of babies under the age of six months if those areas are not protected by a hat or clothing as mentioned above.

Helping Baby Beat the Summer Heat

Getting shady:  Sometimes plans don’t permit it, but if at all possible limit your outdoor time between 10am and 4pm – that’s when the sun’s intensity is at its peak.  Along with the precautions already mentioned, staying in the shade as much as possible minimizes overexposure to the summer heat.  Another option is to take along your own shade – a tent made from protective fabric with ventilated sides is a popular item at baby stores this time of year.  And don’t forget about baby’s stroller – just as a dark colored stroller can hold in the heat, sometimes the stroller canopy doesn’t provide enough protection from the sun’s rays (a problem I encountered when I was still running with the stroller set!).  A universal sunshade that attaches to the stroller solved this problem and provided baby extra shade. Something as simple as a dollar store umbrella will shade baby from the summer sun.

Packing up the diaper bag:  Along with the usual diaper bag essentials and sunscreen, be sure to pack plenty of water to keep baby hydrated in the summer heat.  If you’re nursing, you should increase your fluid intake as well so you don’t become dehydrated.  Throw in a first-aid kit with band-aids, antibiotic cream and an ice pack and you’re all set.

Car safety:  When traveling, be sure to keep your car at a comfortable temperature, and never leave a child unattended in the car, even for a moment.  This may seem like obvious advice, but it bears repeating; every year there seems to be some horrible story about a child forgotten or left in the back seat of a car for a few minutes on a hot day, resulting in a tragedy.  The interior of a vehicle can heat up quickly; even vehicles parked in the shade can surpass temperatures of 100 degrees in warm weather.

Summer can be a wonderful time for outdoor adventures with baby – playgrounds, beaches and campgrounds are great places to explore new sights, sounds and sensations with little ones.  Taking a few precautions against the summer heat can make this time a safe and enjoyable one for baby and everyone in the family.

Rebecca Brea
Rebecca Brea (9 Posts)

Rebecca began reading blogs to connect, learn from and share information with other moms about the parenting experience. This was a natural extension of her participation on community message boards during her struggle with infertility in the late 90s. Rebecca says “As I laughed, was moved by, and recognized myself in so many great blogs, I realized I had been ‘blogging’ in one form or another for most of my life – in diaries, notes on calendars and scrapbooks – so I decided to start one of my own.” Mom Meets Blog peeks in on this later-in-life mom with a fantastic son who’s faced his own challenges and is currently navigating tweendom, karate, middle school, and piano lessons, a workaholic husband overseeing a busy family business, and her role in managing it all - motherhood, midlife and a blog.


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Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

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