We all know how vital it is to keep cool and spend some time out of the sun in summer. But this can be a challenge when you have a little one to think of. Follow these steps for some of the best ways to look after your baby and keep them from overheating.
Hydration is essential
Preventing dehydration is so important for babies and young infants as they do not sweat or perspire the same as we do. This means they can have temperature spikes and suffer heat stroke very quickly and easily. Follow guidelines to what liquids you can offer your baby depending on their age, as they should not be drinking water before 6 months.
Clothing to wear
Dress your baby in light weight clothes that are made from natural fibres such as organic cotton and bamboo. These materials are more ‘breathable’, meaning they can absorb perspiration well compared to synthetic fabrics. You might find it useful to have to hand plenty of items that provide shade, such as a sunhat, sunglasses, visor, umbrella, mesh screen and a canopy. You can even find parasol’s that can be attached to your baby’s pushchair.
At night, avoid blankets and use a baby zip sleepsuit made of breathable cotton fabric which can help regulate body temperature. If it is a very hot night and your baby seems restless, consider putting them to sleep in just a nappy.
Keeping cool in the sun
As well as shading your baby from the sun for protection, it is also important to use SPF. Again, use this with caution depending on your baby’s age.
Less than 6 months – when they are so young, their skin doesn’t produce enough of the pigment melanin for protection. For this reason, you should keep your baby out of direct sunlight. On occasion you can thinly apply sun cream if they are, for example, going in the swimming pool with you.
Above 6 months – the guideline is more relaxed and you can apply sun cream more liberally. This should protect against UVA and UVB rays, and be a minimum of SPF 30. Opt for a brand that makes sun cream for children with less additives and ingredients that might irritate the skin.
How to cool down
In the event that your baby is overheating, uncomfortable or even getting a heat rash, run a cool bath to help them cool down. Create shade in the room and keep the blinds or curtain closed during the hottest time of the day, and use a fan to circulate. If all else fails, you should NEVER feel like you are overreacting. If you are worried about your little one call 111 for further help and advice.