It’s festival season! Time to enjoy the great outdoors and all the goodness our warm months give us. As temperatures heat up, it’s important to protect your little one from heat and the sun’s harmful rays. Below are some helpful tips to keep your child safe this summer.
- Sun safety – It can take just 15 minutes for unprotected skin to burn in the sun. It is also important to remember that you can get a sunburn on an overcast day.
- Limit sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is strongest.
- Look for shade when spending time outdoors
- Use chemical-free sunscreen, avoiding your baby’s eyes. Using SPF 30 or above, makes sure your child’s skin is protected from the hot summer sun. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours.
- Consider having your child wear a brimmed hat; this can be especially helpful if your child has little or no hair.
- Check your child’s medications. Some medications can make skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays.
- Treat a sunburn:
- Have your child take a cool, but not cold, bath.
- Gently apply aloe vera gel to burned areas.
- Call a pediatrician if blisters develop.
- Keep your child out of the sun (or cover up) until the sunburn heals.
- Preventing heat-related illness:
- Make sure your child is well hydrated by having him drink plenty of fluids before and during activity in hot, sunny weather — even if he’s not thirsty.
- Dress your child in light-colored, loose clothing.
- Avoid participating in heavy outdoor activity between the hours of noon and 6 p.m. on hot, humid days.
- Encourage children to take breaks and come indoors to rest and hydrate whenever they are feeling overheated.
- Warning signs that your child is dehydrated:
- A mouth that appears dry.
- Few tears when crying.
- Lack of energy and/or playfulness.
- Fewer wet diapers than normal.
- Never leave a child in a car, no matter how short of a time it may seem. In moderate sun, a car can become like an oven, rising 20 degrees or more in just 10 minutes — extremely dangerous for children, whose body temperatures rise up to five times faster than adults’. In just 60-degree weather, a car can heat up to over 110 degrees. Over 30 percent of deaths from overheating in a car since 1998 have involved children younger than 1 year old; in 2013 alone, 44 American children died of heatstroke after being left in cars.
And most importantly, follow your instincts. If you are too hot or uncomfortable in the heat, so is your child.
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