Summer is a great season to get outside and enjoy the fresh air with your little one. The hot sun, warm breeze and sounds of nature are good for the soul and are a balm for new parents everywhere.
Before you head out with your babies there are a few things you need to know in order to keep them safe from both the heat and the sun.
It's natural to want to shield your baby from the sun's rays by putting a light blanket over the stroller. But a study in Stockholm has shown that temperatures in a covered stroller climbed more than 11 degrees in just 30 minutes. While adults may be merely uncomfortable with the heat, a baby can't regulate its body temperature yet and the heat becomes intolerable in a covered stroller or car seat. Parents may mistake a sleeping baby for a more serious heat-related issue.
Currently the FDA and the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) don't recommend using sunscreen for babies under 6 months, most of the time. The exceptions are when it is not possible to keep them out of the sun. Then, and only then, should a small amount of zinc oxide-based sunscreen be used on the exposed skin.
Things you can do to enjoy the season without worry!
- top your baby with a sunhat that has a 360 degree brim
- dress your baby in loose-fitting clothing
- attach a sun umbrella over the stroller or use the stroller's canopy;
- don't cover your baby or the stroller with a blanket or covering
- go out in the mornings or evenings when the sun isn't at its hottest
- stick to the shady side of the street/path
- park the stroller under a shady tree when taking a break
- keep your baby hydrated with breastmilk or formula; this means nursing or feeding more frequently when in the heat or sun (Babies under 6 months should not be drinking water. It can even be detrimental. Read why here).
Stay cool, hydrate and enjoy your summer outside!