This year Brits have been inundated with warnings of heatwaves and tropical conditions, amongst all of this, how can you keep your baby comfortable and safe.
Each year seems to bring more hot weather warnings than the last. As adults we can change our plans and behaviours to deal with extreme weather conditions.
However, the same cannot be said about infants who can become ill during hot weather. Babies are particularly susceptible to dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and sunburn. If you think that your baby is suffering any of these symptoms, please seek advice via the NHS.
When it is warm outside it is important to take steps to keep your baby comfortable and safe. We’ve outlined five top tips further down this article.
How do you know if your baby is too hot?
It is important to remember that babies can overheat at any time of year and overheating can sometimes be confused with a fever. Parents should know how to identify overheating so that they can take the right course of action.
Thankfully, overheating has some early warning signs. Look out for symptoms such as red skin or feeling overly hot to the touch on your baby’s ears and neck.
If your baby has these symptoms, check for the signs of heatstroke:
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Feverish temperature without sweating
- Lethargy or unresponsiveness
- Dizzy or confused
If your baby has a combination of these symptoms, call emergency services, and follow their professional advice.
Five ways to keep your child cool this summer
Make use of shaded areas
Shaded areas can be a lifesaver, offering much needed respite from the sun for you and your baby.
Babies aged six months and younger should not be exposed to direct sunlight due to their sensitive skin. It is recommended that you shade your baby from the sun rather than use sunscreen during these early months.
Older babies are advised to stay out of the sun when it is at its hottest which is typically between 11am and 3pm. If you need to go out during these times, use a parasol or sunshade to protect your baby.
Applying sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of 30 or above can help to further protect your infant from harmful rays.
Hydration is important not only when it is hot, but at all times of the year. During warm weather it becomes vital.
Just like adults, your little one needs to take on board plenty of fluids to stay cool and keep dehydration at bay.
If your baby sweats, don’t worry, this is the bodies natural cooling system. It is perfectly normal.
Breastfed babies should not be introduced to water during hot weather, your baby will get the hydration they need from feeds. They may want to be fed more often during periods of hot weather.
If your baby is bottle fed, you can introduce them to water that has been boiled and then cooled.
Some infants may refuse water. A helpful tip is to freeze cooled boiled water in a lollipop mould to make a cold alternative for them to suck.
Dress your baby in breathable clothing
Breathable clothing is important, and keep layers to a minimum!
Loose fitting clothing provides unrestrictive protection from those harmful rays and can help to keep your baby cool.
Dressing your child appropriately and selecting natural material with breathable qualities such as organic cotton is advisable when the temperature rises.
Our popular Signature baby booties are handknitted from the highest quality organic yarn, which makes them fantastic at wicking moisture away and providing welcome ventilation for your baby.
Ice packs or cold and wet flannels are fantastic for keeping adults cool, and they can help to keep your baby cool too.
Top tip - Be sure to wrap your ice pack in a muslin cloth and apply it gently to your child’s back or chest for short periods of time.
A cooling bedtime bath
A cool or even lukewarm bath helps to lower your babies core temperature, perfect for a comfortable night’s sleep for baby (and their parents).During the day you can achieve similar results with a paddling pool in a shaded area of your garden.
It is also fine to use a fan or air-conditioning in the child’s room, but take care not to blow the air directly onto them, this can disturb your baby.