Most of us look forward to warm weather and days in the pool, but if you have a little one in your family, you’ll have to take some extra precautions. Here are some tips.
1. Protect that delicate skin from the sun
Babies have delicate skin that burns more easily than ours. Plus, early childhood sunburns increase the chance of skin cancer later in life.
Avoid taking your baby outside between 10 AM and 3 PM. This is when the sun’s rays are the most damaging. When baby is in the sunlight, make sure she is wearing a hat, sunglasses, and clothing made from tightly woven fibers.
Always apply sunscreen on your baby of at least SPF 15 (for infants under 6 months of age, use minimally and apply only if absolutely necessary). It should protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it even on cloudy days (if there’s light, you can get burned). If baby goes into the water, reapply it immediately after.
2. Prevent heat exhaustion
Symptoms of heat exhaustion are fatigue, dizziness, thirst and muscle cramping. If left untended, heat exhaustion can cause heatstroke, which is deadly.
If you’re worried about heat exhaustion, your priority should be to get your baby out of the sunlight into an air conditioned room. While outside, spray baby occasionally with water and make sure she is drinking lots of formula or breast milk.
3. Be safe in the pool, lake, pond or ocean
If you take your baby into the water, you have to be especially careful. First of all, have another adult with you in case something happens to you (a water-buddy is a good idea for everyone).
Equip your child with a life jacket or other flotation device that can’t be removed. This should be a device intended for children, not a grownup garment tied tightly. Stay in the shallow end of the water anyway, since it’s all deep to baby.
If you can, take a CPR class so you’ll always be prepared.
4. Keep the mosquitoes away
Use a mesh netting over your stroller or infant seat to keep mosquitoes out. For infants over the age of 2 months, you can use a bug repellent with DEET, which repels both mosquitoes and ticks.
The current AAP and CDC recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to 30% DEET. Choose the lowest concentration of DEET that will provide the required length of coverage (duration of effectiveness varies based on concentration).
Apply the repellent just once per day and skip those repellent/sunscreen combination products – the repellent may make the SPF less effective and these products can overexpose your child to DEET because the sunscreen needs to be reapplied often.
Check your baby at the end of any day spent outside for bites. If your baby was bitten, use a topical antihistamine to relieve the itching.
5. Don’t wait in a hot car
It only takes 10 minutes for a car to heat up 19 degrees in direct sunlight. Every year we hear about tragedies where a poor little one spent too much time in a hot car. Never leave your child alone in the car, even for a second.
If you have to wait, leave the A/C running or seek someplace cool, even if it’s just a spot beneath tree shade. It will be cooler out in the air than in the car.
Written by Dr. Nina Farzin, Inventor of oogiebear
Nina is a wife, mother and career professional who never intended to start her own business. When her children were newborns, she ached to ease the discomfort from dry, stubborn, crusty mucus (boogers)! As a doctor, she knew there were no safe solutions on the market to help her kids, so she invented oogiebear, a revolutionary booger removal tool that helps babies breathe easier.
Nina graduated Howard University where she earned her doctorate in Pharmacy (R.Ph, Pharm.D). She is a Registered Pharmacist in Washington DC, Maryland and New York. Nina and her family are fitness enthusiasts who enjoy outdoor activities and healthy eating.
For more information, please visit myarchive.oogie.com.
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Note: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and not to give professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor about any questions you may have regarding your child’s health and before following any of the suggestions in this post.