Lazy summer days are fun for all the family – here’s how to make sure your little one stays safe, healthy and happy during the summer months….
Safe in the sun
Your baby’s skin is delicate and easily damaged. Here are some tips for sun-safety.
- Stay In The Shade : ’Never leave babies in direct sunlight-keep her in the shade or under an umbrella or parasol.’
- Dress sensibly : ’Clothing is key to protecting babies and toddlers from burning. Loose clothing is ideal, as are wide-brimmed hats to protect heads and ears.’
- Steer Clear Of Midday : ‘The sun is at its strongest in the hours either side of midday, so give this time a miss. Even in the cooler parts of the day, you should encourage your toddler to play in the shade.’
- Get Protected : ‘Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out to allow time for it to become effective. Aim for an SPF of 50 and a high level of UVA protection. Apply thickly and remember to re-apply every one to two hours.’
- Be Prepared : ‘If you’re going abroad, bear in mind that the sun may well be stronger for more of the day, and even if it’s cloudy, a large proportion of UV rays will get through.’
If your little one has red, tender and hot skin, cool the skin with cold water and apply calamine lotion. If skin is blistering seek medical advice.
With hot bedrooms and lighter evenings and mornings, your little one’s bedtime routine may get disrupted over the summer. Here are some tips.
- Shut Out The Light : ’Our biological clocks are regulated by light. Darkness triggers the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, so ensure your child’s bedroom is as dark as possible during the night. Blackout blinds are invaluable for blocking out bright mornings and long summer evenings.’
- Keep Cool : ‘Researchers suggests that if your child’s bedroom is too warm, it’ll lead to disturbed sleep. To keep her room cool, shut the blinds during the day and open the windows slightly at night. A low-level fan near a window will help circulate the cool night air.’
- Take Time To Relax : ‘At the end of fun summer days, it’s important to have time to wind down and relax before bed. Gentle play or listening to a story will help. If your toddler has a bedtime snack, try a banana, warm milk or an oat biscuit-they contain an amino acid which is thought to make some people sleepy.’
- Make A Routine : ’Try to carry out the same series of steps every night around 30 minutes before bedtime to establish a clear bedtime routine. Try giving your child a relaxing bath, brush his teeth, then go straight to his bedroom without returning to the living area. Dim the lights and read him a story. Then say good night and leave the bedroom.’
Your summer first aid essentials
Summer is a great time for your little ones to get outside and have fun, but it’s also important to be aware of potential dangers. Here are some advice on keeping your little ones safe this summer.
- Avoid Insects : ‘Make sure your children are aware that some insects can bite and sting. It’s easy to step on a wasp or bee, so make sure they wear protective footwear at all times.’
- Check New Areas : ’Always check friends’ homes or holiday homes for hazards. Cuts and grazes are everyday occurrences, but can be avoided. Check for sharp corners, nails and broken glass, and teach your children about the dangers of these.’
- Drink Bottled Water : ‘Eating and drinking abroad can sometimes react badly with children’s digestive systems.’ Avoid tap water, ice cubes, salads and uncooked foods. If you’re ensure, stick to bottled water and only give them food which has been cooked thoroughly and served hot.’
- Be Safe Near Water : ’Toddlers love playing in water, but it can pose a serious danger. When in new surroundings always check the area for ponds, pools or streams. Don’t let your child out of your sight if they are playing near water, and always empty paddling pools when your child has finished playing.’
Healthy, happy and hydrated
During the summer, babies and toddlers can overheat and are much more likely to become hydrated than adults. Registered child nutrition specialist offers advice.
- Offer Drinks Regularly : ‘Your toddler may be too busy having fun to ask for a drink, so make sure you offer her drinks regularly throughout the day. Toddlers should be drinking six to eight cups of fluid a day.’
- Listen To Your Baby : ‘When your babies cries, offer her a drink before trying anything else. If you’re breastfeeding, your baby should be fed on demand to ensure she stays hydrated, while formula-fed babies may need some extra water in very hot weather.’
- Have A Routine : ‘Going on holiday is all about relaxing, but try to stick to your usual meal and snack times so you can keep track of your child’s fluid intake. Offer a drink with all meals and snack, as well as in between meals. Milk, water and well-diluted juice are ideal.’
- Choose Snacks Wisely : ‘Fruit and veg have a high-water content and help to keep little ones hydrated, Give them cherry tomatoes, cucumber, strawberries or melon to nibble on, or yogurt, sorbet or jelly as a hydrating pudding.
Signs that your baby might be dehydrated include try lips, fewer wet nappies than usual, irritability and tiredness. If you’re worried, see your GP.’
Sitting in the car in the full glare of the sun can make even short trips uncomfortable for your little ones. Fortunately, The Outlook auto-shade, which covers the whole rear window, will help keep the interior cool and shady, so your little one can enjoy the view, or have a nap. It will even stay in place with the window open, letting in fresh air and protecting your child from bright sunshine.