“Newborn babies and those less than six months can get overheated really quickly,” says Joanna Johnson, a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at Intermountain Medical Center’s NICU.
Babies get hot five times faster than an adult so it’s important to take steps to keep them cool during the summer.
“Generally light weight, cotton clothing, keeping them in the shade, under an umbrella, under a porch,” recommends Johnson.
Make sure when covering a car seat or stroller, there is still some air flow.
“Keep them covered but with ventilation. The shade is fine but make sure there’s some air movement through the sides of the stroller to make sure they can stay cool,” says Johnson.
Since a young child’s skin can be extra sensitive, it’s recommended to only use a minimal amount of sunscreen for babies younger than six months.
“Small dabs of sunscreen is okay for the cheeks or back of the hands. SPF 15 is generally recommended for the littler ones,” says Johnson.
Parents also need to focus on keeping babies hydrated this time of year. Babies need 30-50% more fluid when they’re outside in the sun. This means not only does baby need to drink more, so does mom to keep up her breastmilk supply.
“If you have about 8 wet diapers when you’re out in a day, that’s generally enough. If it falls much below that, you’re going to want to get them inside and get them cooled off and feeding better,” says Johnson.
If your baby happens to get sunburned, you can use pure aloe gel – nothing with a petroleum base – and a cool, wet washcloth to help soothe the baby.
- Avoid peak times during the day and, if possible, stay inside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Never leave a child in a car for any period of time because both they and the car can get hot very quickly
- If your baby is especially fussy, red in the face, irritable, and unable to calm then bring them inside right away