How to keep baby safe during hot weather
Hot weather can be dangerous for both babies and young children. It is important to take necessary precautions. Here are top tips to keep baby safe in the very hot weather.
Avoid direct sun exposure
Direct sun exposure can be dangerous in very hot weather. It is important to keep your child cool and use protection from the sun.
- Avoid direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm, this is the time when the sun rays can do most damage. Babies less than 6 months have skin that contains too little melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin, hair and eyes their colour, and provides some protection from the sun. But older kids should also be kept out of sun where possible during the hottest times of the day. If you do have to go out with a baby when it’s hot, you should use sunshade or attach an umbrella to the pushchair to keep your baby cool and out of direct sunlight.
- Make sure you apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to your baby’s skin. It is important to use a sunscreen suitable for the babies and young children, ensure that the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen as recommended if your child is outdoors for a long period of time or is in the water.
- Put on a sunhat on your baby or young children which is specifically designed to provide proper protection from the sun.
Keep your baby hydrated
It is important to keep your baby and young children hydrated during hot weather. If they are not given sufficient fluids then they may be at risk of becoming dehydrated.
- For babies who are breastfed don’t need to be given water but may need to be breastfed more often than usual.
- The recommendation by the NHS is if you’re bottle feeding, as well as their usual milk feeds, you can give your baby a little cooled boiled water. If your baby wakes at night, they’ll probably want milk. If they have had their usual milk feeds, try cooled boiled water as well.
- NHS recommends that you can be creative when trying to keep your child hydrated. If they’re over 6 months old and get bored with water, try giving them a combination of very diluted fruit juice and lollies made with very diluted fruit juice throughout the day. For older children, plenty of fruit and salad will also help keep their fluid levels up.
Things to do to keep your child cool
There are a number of things you can do to keep your child cool and healthy during hot summer days.
- A cool bath is a quick and simple way to cool down children
- Fresh summer fruit and icy fruit lollies
- Paddling pool for water fun for babies and children. Keep the paddling pool away from direct sunlight and monitor the children closely.
- Keep your child’s bedroom cool during the day by closing blinds or curtains. You can also use a fan to circulate the air in the room.
- Minimum clothing at bedtime and indoors to keep the child cool.
- It is recommended to keep a nursery thermometer to help you monitor the temperature of your baby’s room. Your baby will sleep most comfortably when their room is between 16C (61F) and 20C (68F).