My name is Anne I am an Early Years Practitioner and trained Henry Facilitator and I run the Little Explorers sessions in the Children and Family Centres. Hasn’t it been great to enjoy a little bit of sun over the past few days? I hope you and your family have been able to get out and about and see some much loved friends and family as restrictions have eased. As we all enjoy more time outside it’s important to remain sun safe.
Staying safe in the sun & keeping cool
- Babies less than 6 months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. Their skin contains too little melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin, hair and eyes their colour, and provides some protection from the sun.
- Older babies should also be kept out of the sun as much as possible, particularly in the summer and between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest. If you go out when it’s hot, attach a parasol or sunshade to your baby’s pushchair to keep them out of direct sunlight.
- Apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to your baby’s skin. Make sure the product also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Many brands produce sunscreen specifically for babies and young children, as these products are less likely to contain additives that might irritate the skin. Apply the suncream regularly, particularly if your child is in and out of the sea or paddling pool.
- Make sure your child wears a sunhat with a wide brim or a long flap at the back to protect their head and neck from the sun.
Like adults, babies and young children need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated.
From 0 to 6 months
- Fully breastfed babies do not need any water until they’ve started eating solid foods. During hot weather they may want to breastfeed more than usual.
- If you’re bottle feeding, as well as their usual milk feeds, you can give your baby a little cooled boiled water. If your baby wakes at night, they’ll probably want milk. If they have had their usual milk feeds, try cooled boiled water as well.
- Remember you can ask your health visitor or another health professional for advice about any baby care issue, advice will then be tailored to meet your baby’s needs.
From around 6 months
- Once you have started to introduce solid foods, you should offer your baby sips of water from a cup or beaker with meals. Remember that breastmilk or infant formula should be their main drinks during the first year. In hot weather, you may need to offer some additional water outside of mealtimes.
From 12 months
- Water, breast milk or whole cows’ milk should be your baby’s main drinks. In hot weather, you can try giving them frozen lollies made from plain water or from very diluted fruit juice to help keep them hydrated. Lollies made from diluted fruit juice should only be given at mealtimes because they can cause tooth decay.
Keeping cool at home
Follow the tips below to help keep your children cool and safe during hot weather:
- Playing in a paddling pool is a good way of keeping babies and children cool. Keep the pool in the shade during very hot weather and supervise the children carefully at all times.
- Run them a cool bath before bedtime.
- Keep your child’s bedroom cool during the day by closing blinds or curtains. You can also use a fan to circulate the air in the room.
- Keep nightwear and bedclothes to a minimum. If your baby kicks or pushes off the covers during the night, consider putting them in just a nappy with a single well-secured sheet that will not work loose and cover their face or get entangled during the night.
- A nursery thermometer will help you monitor the temperature of your baby’s room. Your baby will sleep most comfortably when their room is between 16C and 20C.
Keeping baby cool when out and about
- Babies’ prams and buggies should not be covered with blankets, cloths or any cover that prevents the air circulating.
- Covering a pram or buggy with a blanket could lead to overheating, which increases the chance of SIDS.
- Using a cover also creates a barrier between parent and baby, which is slightly risky as parents won’t be able to see if their baby is having difficulties or monitor their temperature easily.
- We recommend attaching a clip-on sunshade or parasol to a pram or buggy and checking if baby is getting too hot by feeling their chest or the back of their neck. Keep babies out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
Oh, how I love summer
And all of her songs,
Happy summer to all,`
And may it be long!