How to keep your baby cool in hot weather

How to Keep Your Baby Cool in the Summer

While most of us will have enjoyed the recent spell of warm weather, we shouldn’t forget how it can adversely affect some people, especially babies and young children.

The heat can cause serious health problems for little ones including dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and sunburn.

So how can you keep your little ones safe and happy when the temperature rises? Follow these tips on how to keep your baby cool this summer.

Protect your little ones from the sun

Fun days in the sun are a part of childhood, but it’s important to protect young, delicate skin from damaging UV rays.

1. Babies who are under 6 months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. A young baby’s skin doesn’t have enough melanin, which is the pigment that gives the skin, hair, and eyes their colour. Melanin also plays a role in protecting skin from the sun.

2. Older infants should be kept out of the sun, especially between 11am and 3pm when it’s at its hottest. If you do have to go out in the heat, fix a parasol or sun shade to the pushchair to keep the direct sunlight off them.

3. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to your baby’s delicate skin. Broad-spectrum means that the product protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Choose a product that is formulated for babies and young children, as these tend to be gentler and contain less potentially harmful additives. Apply the sunscreen regularly, especially if your child has been playing in the pool or a paddling pool.

4. Protect your little one’s head and neck by covering it with a sunhat with a wide brim or a long flap at the back.

Avoid dehydration

Babies and young children need plenty of fluids when it’s hot, to avoid dehydration, just like we do.

1. If you're breastfeeding, it’s not necessary to give your baby water as well as breast milk, but you might find that they want to breastfeed more often.

2. If you’re bottle feeding, you can give your baby some cooled boiled water at regular intervals. If they wake at night, they are likely to want milk.

There are plenty of ways to keep your child well hydrated. If they are over 6 months old, and they find water a bit too plain, you can give them diluted fruit juice, ice cubes, and homemade fruit juice ice lollies. Older children can get their quota of fluids by eating plenty of fruit and salad.

Keeping cool

Follow these tips to keep babies and young children cool through the day and night at the height of summer:

1. Letting your little ones splash around in a paddling pool is a great way to help them keep cool. On very hot days, place the pool in the shade, and never leave babies and young children unsupervised in or near water.

2. Let them have a cool bath before bedtime.

3. Keep their bedrooms cool all day by keeping blinds or curtains drawn. Try using a fan to help air circulate in the room.

4. On warm nights, dress your children in minimal nightwear, and keep bedsheets to a minimum. Think about letting your baby sleep in just a nappy, and cover them with a well-secured sheet.

5. Consider using a thermometer to monitor the temperature of your baby’s bedroom. Babies can’t regulate their body temperature as well as us, and ideally, a room should be kept at between 16 and 20C for a comfortable sleep.

A word on blankets...

Never use pram covers in hot weather. Rosa and Bo sell pram pegs to clip blankets to a pram, but we don’t advocate that they should be used in hot weather. They come in handy for attaching a blanket to a pram ordinarily, but when the temperature rises, your baby needs to be kept as cool as possible, and a blanket might cause them to overheat.

For further tips and advice on how to keep your little ones happy, healthy, and cool in the warmer weather visit:

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1955.aspx?CategoryID=62

https://www.facebook.com/BBCFamilyNews/videos/1479125488817180/

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