Essential Summer Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe
Summer is a delightful time for outdoor adventures and family fun. Still, for parents of infants, it’s crucial to prioritize heat and sun safety.
While you want to allow your baby to enjoy the outdoors, ensuring their well-being during the hot summer months is essential.
To help you do this, at RapidCare Emergency Room we want to share valuable advice on keeping newborns and infants safe and cool during summer.
Check out these Summer tips to keep your baby safe.
Dress for the Weather: Choosing the Right Outfit
Dressing your baby appropriately is crucial for preventing overheating. Opt for single layers of lightly colored, moisture-absorbent, and breathable fabrics like lightweight cotton onesies or rompers. Avoid synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon, which can trap heat and make your baby uncomfortable.
Generally, infants should not wear more than one additional layer than adults during warm or hot weather.
Hydration is Key: Keep Your Baby Refreshed
Offer breastmilk or formula to keep your baby well-hydrated during hot days. You can introduce water for babies older than six months while they play outdoors to help them stay cool and hydrated.
Rest and Recuperate: Allowing for Extra Rest
The heat can make babies feel more tired than usual. To help them stay comfortable, plan for nap time following outside playtime.
Monitoring the Heat: Knowing When It’s Too Hot
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding prolonged outdoor exposure for newborns if the heat index exceeds 90° F.
Infants are less efficient at regulating their body temperature and don’t sweat like adults, which makes them more vulnerable to overheating. To ensure their comfort and safety, limit your time outside during extreme heat to 15-30 minutes or less based on how your baby responds.
Before planning outdoor activities, check your local heat index here.
Stay in the Shade: Seeking Shelter from the Sun
Finding shade is one of the easiest ways to keep your baby cool during hot days. When spending time outside, park your baby’s stroller or blanket under a tree or any other shady spot to avoid direct sun exposure.
Time It Right: Avoiding the Hottest Parts of the Day
Plan outdoor activities during the early morning or late evening hours when temperatures are milder. If you do venture out during the day, consider investing in a portable stroller fan to help your baby stay cool.
Protecting Your Baby’s Skin from the Sun
Sun protection is crucial for babies, as their delicate skin is susceptible to sunburn. Follow these guidelines to shield your baby from harmful UV rays:
For Babies Under 6 Months:
- Avoid direct sun exposure.
- Dress your baby in a wide-brimmed sun hat.
- Use a stroller shade to block the sun from their arms and legs.
For Babies 6 Months and Older:
- Ask your pediatrician to recommend a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30.
- Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours (or more frequently if your baby has been swimming or sweating).
- Apply a car window shade during car rides.
Handling Heat Rashes: Keeping Your Baby’s Skin Comfortable
Heat rashes can occur when a baby’s skin gets excessively sweaty. If your baby experiences a heat rash:
- Bring them indoors to a cooler, air-conditioned space.
- Bathe them or use a washcloth to wipe away the sweat.
- Change their sweaty clothes to a cool, dry outfit.
Remember that heat rashes typically resolve on their own once the baby’s skin cools down. Avoid applying powders or ointments to the rash, and seek medical help if the condition doesn’t clear or worsens.
Creating the Ideal Environment: Maintaining the Right Room Temperature
According to the AAP, the ideal room temperature for babies is between 68 and 72° F. Keeping your baby’s room cool is especially crucial during sleep, as overheating can increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
If your home tends to get warm during summer:
- Keep blinds or curtains shut to block direct sunlight.
- Use fans to circulate air and maintain a comfortable environment.
- Set you’re A/C to keep the room temperature between 68 and 72° F.
Preventing Hot Car Tragedies
On average, 38 children die yearly from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle.
Even on a mild 80° F day, the temperature inside a locked car can rise as much as 19 degrees in 10 minutes. Given that a child’s body heats three to five times faster than a grownup’s, the risk of heat stroke, brain damage, and death increases significantly every minute a child spends in a hot car.
Thankfully, most hot car tragedies are preventable. Here is how you can help prevent them:
- Never leave a baby alone in a hot car, even for a moment.
- Place an important item in the backseat of your car. This way, you will notice your child in the backseat before exiting the vehicle.
- Set reminders on your phone and those of other caregivers to call or text when dropping off your child somewhere. This way, everyone always knows where your child is.
- Always check the car to make sure everyone gets out safely. Lock your vehicle once you know everyone is out to prevent your child from accidentally climbing inside the car and getting trapped.
- Ask your daycare providers to call you if your child doesn’t arrive on time.
- Call 911 immediately if you see a child alone in a car. Please stay at the scene until help arrives.
Where to Go When An Emergency Strikes
Keeping your baby safe and cool in summer requires vigilance and preparation. However, the sweltering weather we are experiencing can increase the risk of heat-related emergencies in infants and small children. If you feel your child is in trouble, please don’t hesitate to come to the nearest Rapid Care ER for treatment. We are close by and open 24/7.
All RapidCare Emergency Room locations in La Porte, Katy, Missouri City/Sugar Land, and Conroe/Montgomery are open 24/7 every day of the year including holidays. We’re here to help you and your family get well fast!