The summer can get so hot and you may be wondering what you need to do to care for your baby this time of year. Here are summer safety tips for you.
From bugs to the heat and everything in between, everything you need to know to have a great summer with your sweet baby.
Summer safety tips
It is so important in the summertime and during the hot months to keep your babies skin protected from the sun and bugs.
Keep your baby cool and be very careful when they are playing in the water.
It only takes 2inches of water for a baby to drown, don’t leave them unattended for a second.
Babies shouldn’t be outside in the heat for hours, it is to hot for them and they can get dehydrated and overheat fast.
Sun Safety Tips
It is so important to protect your baby from the sun especially during peak times of 10 am to 4 pm when the sun is the hottest.
- Use sunscreen on babies over 6 months that is SPF 50 or higher (talk to your doctor if your baby is under 6 months on what to use) I like to use this one on my six month old.
- Use a sun hat like this one
- Sunglasses to protect babies eyes
- Get an umbrella or baby sun tent for beach trips
- Use a bathing suit that has SPF in the material like this one
If you don’t have an umbrella use the shade from a tree or the canopy on a stroller.
Use lightweight clothing that breaths so your little one won’t get to hot.
Keep Your Baby Cool
I don’t recommend keeping your baby outside for to long as they will overheat.
If you are going to be camping or out most of the day be sure to have a cool place to take a break from the heat.
You shouldn’t give your baby water if they are under 6 months because it will fill up their little tummies and could interfere with the absorption of nutrients.
Your baby will let you know when they need to eat or are dehydrated and may eat more often.
Just keep them in a cool place that is shaded and you shouldn’t have to worry about dehydration.
The number one killer of children ages 0-4 is drowning! Water safety is so important, never leave your baby alone in the bathtub, or near or in water outside.
Always have an adult watch your children if you have to step away for a second as it doesn’t take much for a child to drown.
Babies don’t have a lot of neck or head control and can drown if their nose or mouth is covered with water.
It only takes an inch or two of water for them to drown, this is why I don’t like the baby tents that have pools in them because it is really dangerous.
- You can get a swimming neck ring to help your baby float and get exercise in the bath or a pool.
- Baby swimming floats are another option, your baby can enjoy swimming and also stay shielded from the sun and be able to sleep if they want.
- I can’t recommend enough learning CPR because you may have to use it one day (I would hope not) but it’s good to know.
If you don’t know what swimmers ear is it is an infection in the ear canal, caused by bacteria or fungi.
It is important after swimming or baths to dry the ear and gently clean it so that bacteria and the like don’t have a place to start growing.
You can get over the counter drops, use alcohol that is diluted, or colloidal silver which is an antibacterial antifungal treatment (I like to use colloidal silver for many different things, works for ear infections as well).
If your child does get swimmer’s ear it is very painful and takes about 7 to 10 days to go away with the proper treatment.
The signs of swimmers ear are as follows:
- Redness or swelling of ear or lymph nodes by ear
- Tugging or pulling on the ear
- Not wanting to eat
- Crying when they normally are happy
How is it treated?
Your doctor will prescribe drops for the ear unless it is swollen so badly that they will have to insert a tub to give antibiotics directly to the infection.
Your pediatrician may have to remove some puss and infection if it is really bad and oral antibiotics would be given.
It is best to keep the ears dry and use drops to prevent it before it starts!
Poisonous plants and burns
On top of all the other things that are a danger to your baby in the summer or warm months you also need to be aware of poisonous plants your child may eat and burns from hot water in hoses or the sun.
I was not aware of all of these poisonous plants until recently and I want you to be aware of these as well.
- Castor oil plant- this is a highly toxic plant with little balls on it that if eaten can cause severe, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
- Coral tree- The leaves, bark, and seeds are very poisonous to babies and children and can cause shortness of breath, weakness, and lightheadedness.
- Pink oleander- The whole plant is poisonous, yes it’s a beautiful pink flower but extremely toxic. It causes staggering, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, dilated pupils, and coma that leads to death.
- Nightshade- You probably have heard of this one it has purple or black berries on it and causes drowsiness, facial flushing, vomiting, confusion, and hallucinations.
- Golden dewdrop- Which is a purple-flowered plant with orange berries on it. The leaves and berries are poisonous and cause nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, convulsions, fast heart rate, fever, and could end in death.
- Poison ivy- You probably know all about this one and how it causes rashes, redness, itching, blisters and lasts for a week or longer. A side note once you get it you can get it worse the next time just by touching something that has the oil on it or tools used in it.
- White cedar tree- If your child eats the fruits it could cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, confusion, coma, and seizures.
Other plants to be aware of:
- Angels Trumpet- Flowers, seeds, and nectar are poisonous.
- Arum lily- All parts of this plant can cause irritation if put in the mouth if chewed.
- Belladonna lily- This one is called the naked lady, the sap and bulbs are very toxic.
- Cactus and Succulents- The spikes can heart your baby’s eyes or cause irritation of the skin.
- Chilis- Can burn your baby’s eyes or mouth if they are touched and then put by their face.
- Daphne- This is an ornamental shrub and is poisonous along with the berries.
- Dumb cane- This is an ornamental house plant and is irritating to the mouth and causes swelling.
- Poinsettia and Milkweed- Causes severe pain and injury to the eyes.
For an all-inclusive list of plants to look out for check out this site at raisingchildren.net.au, the list is so long!!
Burns and what to watch out for:
There are many ways your baby can get burned during the summertime, you should beware of these things and keep your baby safe.
- Fire pits- If you have a fire you should not leave your baby unattended anywhere near them.
- Water hose- When sitting in the sun they can get very hot, some times as hot as 107-degree water that will come out when sprayed and cause severe burns.
- The sun- Sunburns can happen and for babies, they can cause redness, and blistering. You should keep them out of it as much as possible and use sun protection.
- Grills- If you grill out a lot your baby could touch it and get burned easily, just keep an eye on them. This is more for those that can walk.
How to treat a burn:
- Run cool water over it to stop the burning
- Apply ice wrapped in a towel to it
- Aloe works really good along with vitamin E which will stop the burn from swelling
- Wrap it with a clean bandage if possible
- Give ibuprofen or tylenol for pain
- Call your doctor or go to ER if needed
Bee stings are another thing to worry about, they can happen at any time and you need to know how to treat them.
Some children are allergic and you need to be aware of the signs of a reaction.
- throat starts to close up
- severe hives and or itching
- high fever
- difficulty breathing
- racing heart
- face or mouth swelling
If you see any of these signs to the ER or call the ambulance.
The way you need to treat a bee sting is by following these steps below:
- Removing the stinger
- Wash with soap and water
- Apply an ice pack or cold washcloth
- Give tylenol or ibuprofen
- You can make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to sting to remove the venom
If your little one gets stung in the mouth take them to the emergency room right away.
A sting in the mouth can cause swelling in the throat and blocking of the airway.
Food poisoning is very common during the hot months and is caused by spoiled food.
If food is left out to long and bacteria grows it will cause your baby to get sick if eaten.
This could be baby formula, baby food, fruit, or anything you give them from a picnic or left out and not refrigerated in time.
It can happen within an hour of eating it or in a few hours after that.
Signs of food poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. They last a day or two and your baby’s body fluids must be replaced to prevent dehydration.
final thoughts on summer safety tips for baby
If you feel overwhelmed by all of these things, don’t be. Most of them are common sense things you can do to protect your baby.
Use sunscreen or sun protection, remove all poisonous plants and make sure to watch your baby at all times.
One more thing you can do is to put together a first aid kit with everything you need for burns, hydration, and things for swimmers ear.
Like I said above it is a good idea to take CPR so that if something should happen you can help your child or someone else’s.
It’s good to know about chocking and the like and I recommend it.
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