Keeping baby cool in Hot weather – Summer Protection Tips!
Scorching summers are on their way, with every slice of global warming, the raising temperatures are showing their “unscrupulous attitudes”. I still remember the way we used to roam around in full summers few years back and if today someone asks for a small walk, even a 300 mts stretch looks like a km with nearly zero stamina in that sunny afternoon. Hence, summer protection ideas are a must read now.
The impact of sun’s UV rays are more harmful for our subtle babies, toddlers and small kids, as their skin is way more sensitive than ours and can be at the risk of sunburns. We all do need sun rays, to get ample Vitamin D, which helps in calcium absorption and thus is very important for the Bone density. And babies should get that sun exposure. But those are the morning sun rays to which a child should be exposed.
Avoid the “Strongest Rays of the day”, which is usually between 10am – 4pm.
And this is the time, wherein we, as parents, need to protect our little munchkins from the side effects of excess heat.
Summer Protection Tips for babies :
1. Hydration :
Babies get dehydrated faster compared to adults because of their smaller body weights and higher consumption of water and electrolytes. They basically drain their energies too faster and thus keeping kids hydrated needs attention. Babies who are less than 6m and are exclusively breastfed, do not need any extra water or juices. Read why water should not be given to babies less than 6m old.
But toddlers and growing kids need ample of liquids in small durations. Water, coconut water, buttermilk, lemon – mint water, glucose, fresh fruit juices, lassi, should be a part of their routines. Apart from water, try to give atleast 2-3 of these liquids in a day to your child. They are refreshing and helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance of the body. Perfect dose for summer protection.
2. Summer protective clothing :
Forget those lacy, frilly, thick, synthetic dresses in summers for kids. It is more prime to keep them cool rather than making kids look trendy. Do not try to over protect the baby with multiple layers and caps during summers. A thin pure loose cotton dress, shorts, work wonders. Pure cotton or muslin cloth has the property to absorb the sweat our body produces and ushers a cooling effect to our body.
Also, try to make kids wear light colours, more closer to white , since white colour reflects the heat , and black absorbs the heat. Remember, Lighter the cooler!
Try avoiding exposure from 10am -4pm, if needed, make sure that kids have worn full sleeved cotton clothes so that their skin exposure from direct sun rays can be avoided.
3. Shower & Pool Time :
Avoid that outdoot play during the peak sunny hours (10-4) and instead utilize them for fun at home.
Well summers are heaven for that most wanted “Water play” for kids. Allow them to have those few moments of water play daily in the afternoon. Nothing can be better to keep them entertained in the bath tubs or pool or shower in summers. It helps them cool their body temperatures and even a cranky toddler will feel amazed after that much needed bubble bath.
Why not have some daily water play with kids, so that the fun and cooling the body goes hand in hand. Here are some Summer play ideas for kids.
Shower them in lukewarm water and avoid hot water, even for a few months old baby. Further, try not to use soap on baby skin, as the chemicals in soap do no good to them. You can prepare home made cleansers/ very mild baby soaps. Add some rose-water in the water for the freshness and fragrance.
Incase you plan to take kids to nearby pool, do not forget to take sunscreen, water sunglasses, trunks, water bottle. If your child wears diapers, take along swimming nappies. Water is the best therapy for summer protection.
4. Nappy Free time :
Its hot, the body sweats and a baby indeed wants to be set open and free. Once your baby is relieved of the routine poo and pee, remove the nappy or diapers and place babies on the cotton sheet having an absorbent layer. Try to give them more of this nappy free time, to allow their bodies to become dry. It also prevents rashes.
5. Mosquitoes and Bugs :
Mosquitoes, bugs thrive on hot weather and as the temperature soars, their activity rises. So, during summers, it is very important to protect babies and kids from those bites. Wearing full and light coloured clothes helps to protect from mosquito bites. There are many kid’s friendly repellents (ranging from cloth roll on to body roll on, natural body patches) in market these days. Ensure to apply natural and organic repellents only for kids.
Also, ensure that the surroundings are clean and are not a ground for mosquito breeding.
6. Food :
I remember last year, when for 10-12 days my child became a supper fussy eater. It felt that his appetite had been snatched away. But gradually I realized that it was happening with all of us and the rising temperatures were to be blamed.
Kids are very active, they lose their energies but at the same time don’t wish to eat in summers. So, it becomes tricky for parents. Without much thought, add up the necessary liquids to their daily routine. Have more of fruits as in melons, berries, mangoes. Include good quantity of Yogurts, cucumber in their diets. Try giving them Almond milk, Thandai, Custard, Chilled strawberry oats and so on. Experiment with food to keep it light but nutritious. You can give them small meals instead of forcing on a whole heavy meal during summers.
Avoid street vendor foods as bacterial activities soar in summers and are a major causes of food poisoning in kids. Don’t even allow kids to eat already cut fruits kept outside for few hours.
7. AC :
I find AC as a major culprit of causing cold and blowing nose in peak summers. We don’t understand the temperature fluctuations a child’s body undertakes in the summers. The sudden temperature changes makes babies and kids equally vulnerable. The best is to spent time in a well ventilated cool room with fans. Incase the rooms also heat up, try to maintain the AC temperature at a comfortable 26-27 degrees.
Also make a note that incase you need to enter out, even at 6pm in the evening, switch off the AC’s some 20-30minutes before, so that kids bodies can be acclimatised to the temperature changes.
8. Sunscreen & Sunglasses :
Lot’s of exposure to UV rays of sun can cause skin damage. While UV A causes skin tanning, UV B causes skin burning, and they both are equally worrisome. A good sunscreen, with minimum SPF 15 can protect your child for more than 2 hours. It blocks 93% of UV B rays. Since a baby’s skin is sensitive and sun screen’s have chemicals in them, avoid using them before till your baby is less than 6 months. Use covered stroller, full thin clothing instead for small babies. You can opt for child-size sunglasses that offer at least 99% UVA and UVB protection.
Let’s beat the heat will a zest of orange before the rains and fall comes along! Summer has its own charm, enjoy the same with kids with some summer protective measures to keep them healthy and hearty!