Keep your baby cool and protect them from the sun. The tips below will help keep your child happy and healthy in the heat:
Babies less than six 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.
Cover your baby’s body, arms and legs with clothing, and make sure you put 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 need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated.
If you’re breastfeeding your baby, you don’t need to give them water as well as breast milk. However, 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 cooled boiled water throughout the day. If your baby wakes at night, they’ll probably want milk but if they’ve had their usual milk feeds, try cooled boiled water as well.
You can be creative to keep your baby hydrated. If they’re over six months old and they get bored with water, try giving them a combination of very diluted fruit juice, ice cubes and homemade fruit juice throughout the day.
A cool bath before bedtime is often beneficial.
Prickly heat is an itchy rash of small, raised red spots that causes a stinging or prickling sensation on the skin, populary called “heat rashes.” Babies and children are also more at risk of getting prickly heat because their sweat glands are not fully developed. It is common in hot weather on parts of the skin that stay moist, such as in the nappy area or under the chin. Creams such as zinc and cod-liver oil creams, or zinc and castor oil creams will protect the skin or mild talcum powders for babies below 6 months and our very familiar dusting powder for babies above 6 months.
The same creams or powders that are used for protecting the nappy area can be used under the chin and on other areas that are prone to prickly heat. Changing the baby’s clothes more often and giving tepid baths can also help
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 ( that means mosquito net , for mosquito invasion prone regions )
Make sure your baby is in the shade in the car when you are travelling and keep the car cool using the air conditioner or opening the windows.
Remember to never leave a baby alone in a parked car. Even in mild weather cars can become very quickly too hot for babies.
Contributed By: Chisom Nwobodo