Fresh air and the outdoors are healthy for babies, as long as parents take the proper precautions to protect them from sun exposure. Learn a few tips to keep your baby safe in the sun.
Dressing Baby for Summer
During the summer months, take a look at what you are wearing and then dress your baby with an additional layer. Lightweight pants and a long-sleeve shirt is recommended, as well as a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses to protect skin and eyes. Remember that baseball caps do not protect your baby's ears and neck from the sun, nor does a cloudy day!
The Rules of Sunscreen
Try to always keep your baby out of direct sunlight. When adequate clothing and shade are not available, the American Academy of Pediatrics says it is okay to use sunscreen on a baby of any age. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and at least every two hours thereafter. You may want to test the sunscreen on a small area to ensure that your baby has no reaction. Remember that avoiding sun exposure and dressing your baby appropriately is still the preferential sun protection method.
Ouch! Soothing Baby Sunburns
A visit or call to the doctor may not be overdoing it if your baby is under six months or the burn looks troublesome, as a baby's skin is particularly sensitive. To soothe the sunburned area, soak a clean, soft washcloth in cool water, wring it out, and gently place it on your baby's skin for ten to 15 minutes a few times a day. A cool bath may also help, as well as aloe vera. Ask your doctor about safe pain relievers. Make sure to watch your baby for fever or other signs of illness.
Signs of Overheating
Signs of overheating include a body temperature of over 100.5 degrees F (taken rectally), flushed and sweaty skin, rapid breathing and irritability. Also, and overheated baby may sleep too soundly to wake himself if he is not breathing properly. This can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Remember that the sun's UV rays are strongest at mid-day.
Babies and Drinking Water
If you are breastfeeding or formula feeding your baby, it is not necessary to supplement with water. You are already providing adequate fluid and calories.