We all love a gorgeous, hot summer, but be sure to keep in mind that babies and young children are more vulnerable than us in intense weather.
Here are important things to remember to keep your child safe and happy in the sun.
Keeep babies out of the sun as much as you can. Try to stay indoors when the sun is highest between 11am -2pm, if you can’t avoid this invest in a good parasol to attach to your buggy so your baby is out of direct sunlight.
Get your child a sunhat with a wide brim or a peak and a back flap to shade their face and neck. Dress them in light, close-weave long-sleeved shirts and trousers. Or go for clothes that are made in sun-protection fabrics.
If you are visiting the beach, UVA suits are a good idea. Always change your child after he has been playing in the sea or swimming pool as clothes can lose up to half of their UV protection when they are wet.
Buy a sun cream specifically for babies as they are made especially for delicate skin. Choose one that is at least SPF30+ and has UVA protection. Apply liberally 15 mins before you go out re-apply frequently.
Breastfed babies shouldn’t need extra water unless it’s particularly hot, however they may want to feed a little more than usual.
If you are bottle-feeding, as well as their formula you can give them extra cooled, boiled water during the day.
For older babies get creative as they will soon become bored of water. Try very diluted fruit juices, ice cubes and homemade fruit juice lollies throughout the day.
Dehydration can happen easily to small children in the hot weather. Sometimes heat or change of diet abroad can also cause diarrhoea or sickness. If your child starts to look lethargic, with dry lips or has diarrhoea or vomiting for six hours or more, she’s in danger of dehydration. Give an oral rehydrating solution (from chemists). In an emergency, make your own by dissolving two level teaspoons of sugar in 200ml of boiled, cooled water.
Keep your child in the shade as much as possible. Take a UV 50 pop-up tent or large parasol with you if you know you are going to be exposed to the sun.
Play with a paddling pool in the shade, be sure to supervise at all times.
NEVER leave a child in a stationary car for any lengh of time as temperatures can sore surprisingly quickly.
Help them regulate their body’s temperature with plenty of cool fluids and juicy fruit snacks like Watermelon, oranges or peaches.
Keep their bedrooms cool by keeping blinds shut and use a fan to circulate the air. Keep night clothes to minimum and use a lighter 0.5 tog cover or well secured sheet.
This doesn’t happen only in really hot countries. Your child could get it playing outside on a sunny day here, and children under 4 are particularly vulnerable as they can’t regulate their body temperature. The symptoms include headache, dizziness and confusion, plus a hot, flushed, dry skin. If you suspect heath stroke, get him to a cool place, take off his clothes and call an ambulance. Cover him with a wet sheet, or sponge him with tepid water.