Summer Safety for Your Baby

Sunscreen is being applied to baby, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Derek Henthorn / STOCK4B/Stock4B/Getty Images

Summertime ushers in many new opportunities for you and your baby, but with it comes a different set of safety precautions. Don’t let fear of injury keep you and your little one pent up indoors this season. Heeding the following safety tips will allow you to confidently enjoy summer outings together.

Be Mindful of Sun Exposure:

Because infants have rather thin skin, they are much more susceptible to sunburn.

Babies under six months old should not be exposed to direct sunlight and should only be given minimal amounts of sunscreen if absolutely necessary. Older babies may enjoy short periods in the sunlight and should be generously lathered in sunscreen with an SPF of 15 to 30. Shades, parasols, and large brimmed hats can further provide protection from the sun.

Keep Your Baby Well-Hydrated:

You should expect that your baby will need to drink more frequently when the weather is warm, but it may not be wise to give him water. Unless recommended by a doctor, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages giving water to babies less than six months old even in hot climates. Nursing moms can expect their baby to feed more frequently to replace lost fluids, and doctors of formula fed babies may offer individualized suggestions for the baby. To help babies who have reached their sixth month stay hydrated, small amounts of water, in addition to juicy fruits, can be offered.

Follow Water Safety Guidelines:

In the time that it takes for you to dash inside to grab a cell phone off the counter, your baby could drown in that pool that only contains a few inches of water. Simply never leave your child out of your eyesight or out of arms’ reach when near water. If you both are enjoying a trip to a pool or a large body of water, only trust approved floatation devices and keep infants who cannot lift their head to a 90 degree angle out of the water all together.

Consider Proper Air Circulation When Transporting Your Baby:

During hot weather, temperatures in parked vehicles can nearly double within a matter of 15 minutes. Never leave your baby alone in a vehicle, even for a minute, even if the windows are open. Furthermore, be cautious of keeping your child seated in a car seat carrier or held in a front carrier made of thick material. The limited air circulation and heavy padding can cause excessive heat and poor ventilation.

Watch Out for Insects, Spiders, and Other Creepy Crawlies:

The best way to prevent bug bites is to keep your baby out of these critters’ popular hangout spots. Bees love clover, flowers, and the like. Mosquitoes hunker down in standing water, and deer ticks consider brushy areas an inviting home. For added protection, you might want to consider draping insect netting over your stroller or carrier, and applying an insect repellent with low concentrations of DEET to your baby’s clothes if he is older than 2 months. Avoid placing the repellent on his hands to prevent ingestion.

Grill Safely:

It wouldn’t be summertime without picnics, barbeques, and hibachi grills. Undoubtedly, your baby will find the flicker of the fire fascinating, so be certain that you always position yourself between your baby and your grill. Be mindful that coals can stay hot for quite some time. Douse them thoroughly in water when the party is over.

Don’t Forget Indoor Summer Safety Precautions:

Your child is not necessarily just as safe indoors in the summer as he was during cooler months. Consider the danger that open doors and windows may pose to your little one. Window guards can be installed that allow windows to be open without fear of the baby pushing out the screen and tumbling out. Additionally, be sure to lock your screen doors to keep your newly toddling toddler from making a hasty exit.

Bike Safely:

Biking is often a popular summer pastime, but you must be careful about following biking with baby safety guidelines. Make yourself familiar with these points before taking your baby on his first bike ride.

Scan the Area for Potential Dangers:

Whenever you are transitioning to a new environment, always take a wizened look about the setting. Simply being aware of potential dangers can reduce the chance of risk to your infant.

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