Your baby can easily be affected by extreme temperature (90-degree weather). Babies’ skin is very fragile, thin and does not produce enough melanin, a natural pigment of the skin. Exposing your baby to direct sunlight might cause overheating, sunburn or prickly heat rashes. To ensure your child’s protection from harmful ultraviolet rays, follow these expert tips:
Limit direct sun exposure
If your baby is below six months of age, it is best to avoid exposing him to direct sunlight. For starters, the ultraviolet rays can pose much danger to babies’ vulnerable skin. Furthermore, there is a link between childhood sun exposure and skin cancer, according to the latest research. So it is essential to dress your child in protective clothing, for example, shirtsleeves and sunhats with white brims. Shade can also offer you protection from the sun. Prams, if being used, should be covered with a canopy. Or better still, use umbrellas or sunshade.
Dress your baby in breathable, lightweight cotton clothes. Cotton, lightweight material like cotton is safe for baby’s skin, rather than synthetic materials like polyester and nylon. Synthetic fabrics may prevent your baby’s skin from breathing properly. In hot weather, light colored baby clothing are better because dark colored clothing readily retains or absorb heats. Sun hats are also important because they shield your baby’s face from sunlight. At night, to prevent overheating, dressing your baby in diapers and Onassis will be just fine.
It is recommended to get ‘sun-protective apparels for babies’. They are specifically designed to protect your baby from harmful ultraviolet rays. They have up to a sun protective factor of above 50 and are capable of blocking more than 97 per cent of UV radiation.
Sunscreen for babies
Sunscreens are considered safe for babies older than six months. It should be used very sparingly on small areas of your baby’s skin. Remember, your baby’s skin is sensitive and easily irritable, avoid using sunscreens with harsh chemicals and preservatives. They may produce adverse reactions on your baby’s skin. If you notice any reaction from sunscreen on your baby’s skin, cease usage immediately. It is advisable to use water-resistant sunscreen that has a sun protection factor of at least 30 and above.
Babies can get dehydrated fast during extreme heat. Their bodies use up much water more quickly than adults. For your baby to be healthy and genuinely cared for during the summer, you need to feed him frequently. If you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby, supplementing with water is not necessary because breast milk contains all the nutrients he will need.
Formula-fed babies might still require water in hot, sweltering weather. Medical advice should be sought first. But frequent fluid intake ( whether through breastfeeding or formula feeding) is the key to preventing baby dehydration during hot weather.
Always be watchful for signs of dehydration in babies, which may include sunken soft-spot on the head, little or no tears when crying, infrequent urination or dry diapers, dizziness and weakness.
Your baby and car safety
The interior and exterior temperature of cars can increase rapidly in hot weathers. Some vehicles are known to heat up as high as 140 F during summer. High temperatures in vehicles are often fatal and capable of posing a grave danger to your baby. Here are some tips that will enable your baby to stay comfortable if you will be using a car in the hot weather:
- Never leave your baby unattended in a car, even for a minute.
- Stay away from distractions while driving.
- Seek shade while parking. If possible, avoid parking in direct sunlight.
- Schedule your road trip for early mornings, when the sun is less scorching.
- Shield the interiors of your car from harmful UV ray by getting a tinted window.
- Consider installing ‘the Noogle’ to provide direct cool air to your baby.
- You can also cool your car with reflective sunshade on the windscreen or a car seat sunshade.
Watch out for signs of overheating
Overheating in babies is dangerous and is often linked to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Some signs of overheating you have to be wary of include: increased body temperature, dampness of the neck and ears, tiredness, irritability, vomiting and heat rashes. If you notice your baby has any of this sign, seek urgent medical attention.