5 tips to live with the summer heat
In the summer, heat waves are unavoidable periods during which babies are extremely fragile. In this article Chimpäroo’s team reminds you of the preventive actions to take to keep your infants safe during the extreme heat of summer days.
1- First and foremost, protect your baby!
It’s recommended to keep your baby in your home’s coolest room. To keep the room’s temperature lower, keep the windows’ blinds and curtains closed. Keep in mind that the use of a/c units or fans is discouraged because they dry the room’s air and your baby could easily catch a cold from a breeze.
At the beach, protect your child by placing him in an anti-UV tent. As to sunscreen, it should be applied throughout the day, but especially after going for a swim or other outdoor activity, since sunrays can be harmful even in the shade.
You should ideally choose mineral sunscreen as they are safer for your baby since they contain fewer chemical agents. It’s also recommended to minimize the use of aerosol products as they can cause allergic reactions or risk being ingested by the baby.
Photo: Protecting baby from the sun with sunscreen is essential!
2- Hydration is your best ally
During days of intense heat, infants are particularly at risk of a heatstroke because their bodies aren’t quite capable of regulating their temperature. In addition to this, infants aren’t always able to know or to tell their parents that they’re thirsty and need to drink. If you’re breastfeeding, feed your baby regularly. The goal is to compensate for your baby’s loss of water through perspiration. Past 6 months, it’s recommended to offer your baby spring water adapted to infants every half-hour and at night should he wake up. When traveling or going out, especially on car rides, plan to bring enough water along with your baby’s bottles.
If your baby has reached dietary diversification, fruits and vegetables high in water content (tomatoes, watermelons, salads, strawberries, grapefruits etc.) can complete his water intake. You should let yourself apply a cool wet cloth on his forehead and on the back of his neck during the day.
3- In praise of a cool bath
During hotter days, a cool bath is an excellent way to keep your baby cool. Two to three times a day, bathe him without using any soap. Keep in mind that catching a cold can still happen, so don’t overdo it: the water’s temperature can be set as low as 35°C, but shouldn’t have a temperature difference of 5°C or more with the rest of the room. Allow your baby to enjoy the water for a few minutes and lightly pat down his body with a towel when you take him out of the tub so as to leave him with some of the water to cool him down afterwards.
Photo: Giving baby a bath: the perfect way to refresh him!
4- Going out is ok, but with caution!
Avoid going out during the worst of the day’s heat, when the sun is at its zenith between 11am and 4pm. Try to stay in the shade when taking a walk. If you’re taking your baby along in a stroller, refrain from covering up the canopy with a blanket to protect him from the sun, as this could trap warmth inside the enclosed space. You should instead choose an anti-UV sun visor or sunshade.
When going out using a baby carrier, choose lightweight materials such as linen, cotton or large meshes. The Mei-Tai Air, the Ring Sling Air-O and EvöAir are recommended as they are both made of a large polyester mesh which will reduce the heat trapped between you and your baby. Should you have to walk through air conditioned spaces, bring a thin jacket or blanket to protect your baby from a possible cold.
For car rides, air conditioning is essential, but it shouldn’t be so high that it overwhelms your baby. Don’t hesitate to use a mineral water atomizer to help your baby stay cool. Consider installing sun visors on the car’s back windows to protect him from sunlight. Last but not least, take the time to stop to renew the car’s air frequently. Keep in mind that a child should never be left in a car by himself, even if parked in the shade, and a stop should never last more than a few minutes. A child in a vehicle parked in direct sunlight for just five minutes will suffer from severe dehydration.
En photo: A mother carries her baby, using the Mei Tai Air.
5- Choose the right clothing
Your baby’s clothing needs to be lightweight. A single layer of clothing is enough and you should dress him in thin cotton or linen fabrics. If your baby spends the day inside, a short sleeved onesie will make an ideal choice, but if you need to leave the house, longer, light-colored clothing made of anti-UV fibers, a hat and sunglasses will be needed to avoid a heatstroke or sunstroke.
During summer, your baby can spend the night without a sleep sack but shouldn’t sleep with just his diaper on either, as he could catch a cold. Lightweight cotton pajamas or long-sleeved onesies will protect him from the cold and absorb perspiration if needed.
We hope these tips will help you get through the worst of the summer’s heat.
Watch or rewatch our live event on managing the summer sun and heat on our YouTube channel (in French).
For more interesting resources, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page.
If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us!