SUMMER HEAT & YOUR BABY
Hello summer! Finally, the beautiful English summer is upon us and we are loving every single moment soaking up the sunshine. When you become a parent, the heat and blazing summer sun has a whole new meaning. Shade, factor 50 and hydration become absolute priority.
We have some tips for babies safety in the sun below:
- Young babies, under the age of 6 months should be kept away from direct sunlight all together. At their tiny age, their precious skin does not have enough melanin to protect them from this exposure.
- Babies six months and over should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible, especially during the hottest hours of the day between 11am and 3pm.
- Apply sun cream of SPF30 or higher (we recommend SPF50) to your baby within regular intervals, every hour or so ensures that any that may have been rubbed off, sweated off or generally worn off will be replaced. There are sun products available to buy which suit even the most sensitive of skins and can protect from both UVA and UVB exposure.
- Keep your baby as hydrated as possible by offering them plenty of water - if you are away from home it will be handy to bring with you more than usual and offer to your baby way more than usual. You can freeze water with mushed up fruit like strawberries or raspberries in the ice lolly containers for a refreshing, juicy hit of hydration, something fun and soothing if your baby is also teething too.
- If you are breastfeeding, choose a well-ventilated area (if possible) to be as comfortable as possible for both you and your baby. Don't cover the baby's face during feeds as it may get too hot under the cover. A good tip is to make sure you drink at least 100ml before feeds to keep you hydrated!
- In the summer sun, babies should always be wearing a brimmed sun hat that ideally covers their shoulders and neck too! The more coverage, the better!
- It is prime time for paddling pools! There is so much fun to be had splashing around with your baby in the paddling pool. Babies only need a couple of centimetres of water to enjoy splashing and water toys. During paddling pool play, babies should never be left unsupervised and the pool should be popped in the shade out of the direct glare of the sun. As the sun moves around during the day time, the paddling pool may need to be moved back into the shady areas of the garden. Keep checking the water temperature and cleanliness of the water, replace the water as much as you feel is necessary.
- The heat can bother babies a lot, we recommend just keeping it really simple with clothing, we recommend to dress your baby in clean, loose fitting, light coloured cotton or linen rompers or vests. Cotton is a lovely, breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that wont leave your baby uncomfortable and over heat. Dark colours like Navy and Black absorb heat making you feel a lot hotter than if you were to wear light colours like white. Any skin that is exposed should be covered in sun cream of SPF30 or higher.
- During the hot days, it is advised that we should never drive in a hot car or sit in a hot parked car with your baby or as another example sit outside for too long in the hottest times of the day as this can cause their body temperature to rise quickly.
Babies can over heat, this can cause heat stroke, although heat stroke is rare in babies, but to note it is extremely dangerous. Before heat stroke, your baby or child could show signs of milder heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat cramps. These most often happen after a child has been exercising or playing a lot in the direct heat of the sun and loses too much fluids and salt from sweating.
You can watch out for the signs that may include:
- A high body temperature of 38c
- Cool and clammy skin despite how warm the weather is
- Increased sweating
- Dizziness, fainting, weakness or confusion
- Increased thirst
- Severe headaches
If you think your child or toddler has any of these symptoms, contact 111 or your GP straight away.
As babies are not able to communicate how uncomfortable they are in the heat, here are some examples of unusual behaviours to look out for, so that you can stay on top of keeping them safe, cool and comfortable.
- rapid breathing
If you think that your baby may have a heat related illness, do not hesitate to contact your GP or 111 straight away. In emergencies, contact 999. (This is written based on emergency numbers in the UK)We hope you enjoy a safe and fun summer!