Babies and young children cannot regulate their own body temperatures the way older children and adults can, and therefore keeping them cool in hot weather can be quite a challenge.
If you are heading off to sunnier climes with your little ones in tow, then the following tips on how to keep babies cool in hot weather may help.
1. Keep babies well hydrated
The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that the biggest danger facing babies and young children in warm weather is dehydration. Experts advise that babies should drink 50% more fluids than usual during hot weather. For babies over six months, their normal feeding routine should be supplemented clean drinking water. For babies under six months should be breastfed or formula fed more regularly. Mums who are breastfeeding should also increase the amount of water they drink in hot weather.
2. Keep your baby in a well-ventilated area
In is important to keep your little one in a cool area. If she is indoors open all windows to try and create a draft, or if you have air conditioning in a hotel room or apartment, switch it on. Electric fans are a good substitution for air conditioning for making cool air circulate in a room.
3. Avoid the mid-day heat
Ultraviolet rays are at their harshest between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is therefore sensible to limit your time in the sun with your baby until before 10am and after 4pm. Although remember it can still be very hot during these times so always put plenty of high factor sun cream on your children when they are exposed to the sun.
4. Keep clothes to a minimum
In very warm weather it is advisable to dress babies and children in clothes made out of cotton and to avoid synthetic materials such as polyester. Ensure the clothes are light and loosely fitted. At night-time it is sensible to put just a nappy on your baby. Sunhats are also advised to keep a baby’s head cool and help protect them from the sun.
5. Keep energetic activity at a minimum
Children and older babies should be reminded not to run about or practise ‘energetic’ activities in hot weather. Running about in the sun will result in children and babies becoming hotter and requiring even more fluids.