Yay, summer finally is here! Your little one at last can wave bye-bye to bulky sweaters and happily greet the swing sets, beach blanket naps and sunshine that await in the days ahead.
Summertime delights aside, however, this season brings with it some serious safety concerns for babies and small children. Here’s how to keep your kids safe during the summer months—without missing a moment of fun in the sun!
Whether your baby is bound for the beach, the swimming pool or is just cooling off in an inflatable kiddie pool in your backyard, drowning is always a concern when little ones are involved. A baby or toddler can drown in less than an inch of water—so never take your eyes off her, even for a few seconds! Stick with swimming pools that have a lifeguard on duty, and if you have your own pool at your place of residence, completely enclose it with a fence that’s at least 4 feet high. Reinforce water readiness at a young age by reading the adorable, You Can Swim, Baby Duck! as an awareness and confidence-building bedtime story.
Don’t leave home without it: Sunscreen
A sunburn on small child is a bad, bad thing, with both immediate health risks (overheating, dehydration, blisters) and long-term damage (increased risk for skin cancer). Never forget that wide-brimmed hat, and if you’re going to spend extended hours outside, you might want to bring a little pop-up baby tent. Whether you’re outside for hours or minutes, be sure to choose a sunscreen labeled broad-spectrum to protect baby from both UVA and UVB rays. California Baby No Fragrance SPF 30 Plus Suncreen is non-chemical, PABA-free and is also free of common allergens.
Bugs, be gone!
Tell insects to buzz off by using a baby-friendly, DEET-free insect repellent such as Babyganics Shoo Fly Natural Insect Repellent, which does not contain parabens, sulfates, synthetic toxins or phtalates—making it a great choice for sensitive infant skin. It wards of pests using all-natural deterrents such as soybean, peppermint, geranium and citronella. Looking for something baby-safe that the whole family can use, too? All Terrain Kids Herbal Armor is also DEET-free and has won numerous awards for repelling deerflies, mosquitoes and more—naturally.
Babies might not need to drink water in moderate climates—breast milk or formula should provide adequate hydration. But when there’s a heat wave, everyone in the family likely will need to drink more water. Don’t leave baby out; fill a soft-spout BPA-free cup with filtered water and offer it to baby throughout the day, particularly if you’re outside. If you’re nursing, you need to make sure you are getting adequate hydration. You might need to nurse more frequently if your baby is thirstier; try adding a NUUN tablet to water for electrolytes without extra calories. (They taste great, too!)
Jorie Mark is the Creative Director for Vitacost.com and mother to three children, ages 2 to 10.