Keeping Baby Safe and Happy this Summer
by Jocelyn Anne
With summer coming upon us quickly, now is the time to start planning ahead for keeping our babies safe and happy during these hot months. Because babies’ temperature regulation systems are not fully developed, they are at much greater risk for over-heating than we are as adults. And, to make things even more dangerous, they also have fewer sweat glands, making them less efficient at staying cool. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), babies and toddlers up to four years old are at the greatest peril of heat-related sickness, along with those over 65 and those suffering from chronic illness.
When babies do not cool off, they can suffer from heat exhaustion, in which their temperature can skyrocket as high as 103 degrees and require instant medical attention. If still not treated properly and temperature rises over 103 degrees, babies can actually suffer heat stroke, which can lead to coma and even death.
All this is not meant to frighten or scare you, because the good news is that your baby potentially over-heating is entirely preventable! Follow these simple guidelines to ensure that your baby stays happy, healthy and safe, all year long.
Keep Baby Hydrated
Since baby obviously can’t tell you when he is hungry, it’s up to you to ensure that he stays well hydrated. Even if you don’t notice drops of sweat, your baby can still be losing fluids in hot summer temps. If you see rapid breathing, restlessness, even skin that’s flushed or warm to your touch, your baby may be dehydrated. To be safe: plan on your baby taking in 50% more fluid during summer months than normal.
Avoid Hot Rooms and Cars
Even a few minutes stuck in an excessively hot car or room can cause baby’s temperature to rise dramatically and be life-threatening. Always cool down the car or bedroom with some type of portable air conditioning unit before bringing baby in.
Dress Baby Appropriately
Keep clothes loose and lightweight in the heat of summer, and opt for cottons over synthetics. They’ll absorb and wick away moisture better, leaving baby cooler and drier.
Avoid the Peak Times of Sun
The sun is most dangerous between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Avoid unnecessary damage to baby’s skin by staying indoors during the worst hours.
Know the signs of heat stroke:
• Hot, red, dry skin
• Rapid or shallow breath
• Tired, lethargic
• A temperature of over 103 degrees, but no sweating
As well as the signs of dehydration:
• Sunken eyes
• No tears when crying
• Dark or strong smelling urine
• Over six hours without urinating
• Excessive sleepiness or crying
Freelance writer Jocelyn Anne is currently researching portable air conditioners and their potential to protect infants from overheating.
Thank you for sharing these great tips on how to keep babies safe from over heating.
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