How to cool your baby in the heat: Get ready for summer with our tips!
Updated: May 21
Hot weather can be particularly harmful to babies and young children, so knowing how to keep them cool is vital. Soaring temperatures can easily lead to sunburn, dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Young babies and children are especially vulnerable to the effects of hot weather, and if care isn’t taken, this can quickly become serious. Being vigilant and knowing how to keep your baby safe and cool in the heat is crucial.
Remember that you will need to protect your baby from both the sun and the heat to keep them safe when temperatures rise.
HOW TO PREVENT YOUR CHILD OVERHEATING.
On hot days, make sure that you keep your baby out of the direct sunlight, especially in the hours from 11.00am and 3.00pm when the sun is at its peak.
If you are out and about in high temperatures, make sure that your baby is kept in the shade to avoid them overheating. Using a parasol on your pushchair can help keep them shaded.
Never cover your child’s car seat, pushchair or pram with a blanket to keep them cool. Although the material may keep your baby shaded, it will become extremely hot for them and can cause them to overheat. Even using lightweight fabrics such as muslin or scarves to shade your baby can cause them to be trapped in potentially dangerously high temperatures.
As well as using a parasol to protect your baby from the direct sunlight, you may also want to use a special baby fan. These are designed to clip onto your pram or pushchair and help to cool baby down. Make sure that you choose a fan that meets safety standards and is specially designed for this purpose.
Never leave your baby in the car on hot days, a car can quickly heat up, putting your baby in real danger of overheating.
KEEPING YOUR BABY HYDRATED.
Along with keeping your baby cool and in the shade, you will also need to keep them hydrated.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, there is no need to give them extra water. You should find they want to feed more regularly to stay hydrated.
According to the NHS, bottle-fed babies can have a little cooled boiled water to help keep them hydrated on hot days, as can babies that are being weaned.
KEEPING YOUR BABY COOL AT NIGHT.
Your baby may feel uncomfortably hot in the night, putting them at risk of the harmful effects of overheating. Use a room thermometer so that you can monitor the temperature in your baby’s room. The room temperature should be between 16°c and 20°c for your baby to sleep comfortably.
Dress your baby appropriately at night for the temperature. On hot nights just a nappy and vest may be best.
A baby that feels uncomfortable and too warm in the night may fidget lots. This can cause them to become tangled in their bedding. To keep your baby safe, you may want to avoid blankets altogether. Instead use a sheet that cannot come loose, so that it cannot cover your baby’s head.
During the day you can take steps to help your baby’s room stay nice and cool at night. Keeping your child’s blind or curtains shut during the day keeps the sun out and helps stop the room temperature rising throughout the day.
On hot days, you may want to cool your baby down before bed by giving them a cool (not cold) bath to settle them.
HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE IN BABIES.
Young children are especially susceptible to suffering from heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are not the same things, but heatstroke can turn into heat exhaustion if left untreated.
Heatstroke is a severe condition, so if you suspect that someone has it, you should treat it as a medical emergency.
Heat exhaustion usually causes the body temperature to rise to 37°c – 40°c. Heat exhaustion can develop into heatstroke, which occurs when the body temperature is above 40°c. The effects of heatstroke can be deadly.
It is always best to take all necessary precautions to keep your baby cool, comfortable and hydrated on hot days. Doing this will help to prevent your baby overheating and experiencing potentially dangerous side effects.
Information sourced from emmasdiary.co.uk