*This post was brought you in partnership with Bowe Baby.*
It’s heating up outside and after this long winter, we are all eager to spend some time outdoors. Your baby has sensitive skin that burns easily and a little too much time in the sun can leave baby dehydrated and could lead to heatstroke, heat rash, sunburn or other problems.
Most pediatricians recommend keeping infants under six months in age out of the sun as much as possible in the summer months. However, with a little planning you and even the littlest baby can enjoy some time outside without worry. Here are some tips to help keep your little one safe and happy outside.
Watch the Clock
The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so try to limit your baby or child’s exposure to direct sunlight during this time and protect them as much as possible if you need to be outside during these hours.
You should be using sunscreen all year round to protect against skin cancer, but it is especially important in the summer months for anyone over 6 months of age. Sunscreen should be applied about 30 minutes before heading outside, should be at least SPF 30 and be applied to all parts of the body and face that are not covered by clothing. Sunscreen that is waterproof and sweat proof is best, and it should be reapplied every two hours while outside. Set a timer to help you remember.
Try to dress in clothing that is light and loose, to keep your child cool and comfortable and to reflect the light and heat. Tightly woven fibers keep more sun out. You can check the weave of the clothing by holding it up to light. The less light that passes through the tighter the weave. All babies and children should wear a sunhat to protect their scalps, even with a full head of hair and sunglasses with UV blocking coating is important to protect their young eyes. You can also buy clothing made of special UV blocking fabrics for added sun protection. Don’t forget their feet! Babies need protection on those tootsies too! Make sure your little one has shoes, socks, or sun socks with built in UV protection on.
Keep Hydrated and Cool
Shade should help cool your baby but if it is extremely hot and you don’t have air conditioning in your home, seek out a public library, museum or shopping mall during the hottest hours of the day. If you are spending a lot of time in the sun, remember to continue to offer your baby fluids. Offer him breast milk or formula often, and if she is already drinking from a cup, don’t hesitate to offer water and keep it readily accessible. Keep it in an insulated toddler cup so the water stays cool while outdoors.
Stay in the Shade
If you are going to be outdoors gardening, fishing, etc. Try to keep baby in the shade as much as possible. Park her stroller or play cot under a shady tree. If you are going to be on the move, invest in a stroller shade or car seat shade like these from Bowe Baby. (They even have storage built in!) For trips to the beach, a pop up shade tent or umbrella are great options.
These practices should help you and your baby stay safe and cool while having fun outside! One last tip, make it easy on yourself. Keep appropriate sunscreen, hats, and sunscreen in your diaper bag and purse at all times so you aren’t caught unawares while out and about, running errands, or for an impromptu stop at the park. Stay safe!