Fun in the Sun with Your Little One!
Simple Tips for Keeping Your Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers Safe this Summer!
Warm weather, lots to do, no school - it’s time for fun in the sun, right? Not so fast, Mom and Dad! With sunburns, bee stings, overheating, and bug bites all potential dangers to your babies, let’s talk about keeping your kids safe this summer, so you can REALLY have fun in the sun!
Keeping Cool and Avoiding Heat Illnesses
Babies and young children are especially vulnerable to overheating and heat exhaustion, which can be very dangerous! This happens when a child (or adult) gets dehydrated or is exposed to high temperatures for extended periods of time.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
Fortunately, heat-related illness is completely preventable!
Avoid being outdoors for extended periods of time during the hottest times of the day
Dress your child in light-colored, lightweight clothes (in cotton or linen fabrics that breathe!)
Give extra fluids to prevent dehydration! Note: Babies below six months should only get breast milk or formula unless otherwise directed by your pediatrician.
Sponge them off with a cool, damp cloth or baby wipes (reapply sunscreen if you do this!)
Take frequent breaks from outdoor activities to seek shade or air conditioning indoors
If your child does seem overheated, cool them off with cool compresses, giving them extra fluids, and most importantly, get them into an air conditioned location. When in doubt, if your child is showing signs of distress possibly due to heat-related illness, seek medical attention!
Avoiding and Treating Sunburns
Babies and children have such delicate skin, it’s especially prone to painful, dangerous sunburns! For babies and children over the age of six months, keep their skin healthy by using a baby-friendly sunscreen. Baby sunscreens are mineral-based with zinc oxide while adult sunscreens use chemical blockers alongside mineral blocking, so if you’re shopping for a sunscreen for the family, get a baby sunscreen because adults can get the same benefits from them!
Sunscreen and sun safety tips for kids:
Apply sunscreen before getting your child dressed, that way you don’t miss areas if clothing rides up or shifts, or if your toddler decides clothing is optional! Also, apply around 20 minutes before going outdoors;
Use a waterproof sunscreen, but if your kids will be in the water, reapply every hour just to be on the safe side;
Wear a hat to protect the delicate skin on the ears and scalp;
Wear sunglasses to protect skin around the eyes and the eyes themselves;
For babies under six months old, a tiny amount of baby-friendly sunscreen can be used on their feet, hands, and cheeks, but it’s not optimal. Instead, keep them covered as much as you can, while keeping them cool. Using light, muslin blankets, sunshades, and stroller covers can block sun rays, but when in doubt, avoid being outdoors between 10:00 and 2:00, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
If your child does get a mild sunburn, apply aloe vera and cool compresses to ease discomfort. If the burn is more severe, reach out to your pediatrician for advice.
Avoiding and Treating Bee Stings
Bees are great for flowers and honey, but their stings can be painful (and don’t get me started on wasps!), and children are especially susceptible to them. Fortunately, bees try to avoid us as much as we try to avoid them, so we can minimize risk to our children and easily treat them should they have an unpleasant encounter.
Keep your children sting-free by following these tips:
Bees are attracted to flowers so avoid dressing your child in floral prints. Scents also attract bees and wasps, so avoid scented soaps, lotions, and sunscreens.
Make sure your child wears shoes at all times, preferably full-coverage shoes like sneakers when playing in the grass. This way if he or she steps on a bee, their feet will be safe.
Don’t take drinks or food outside. Sweet drinks like juice or sweet snacks like popsicles can attract bees and wasps, so it’s best to keep them inside. Even if food or drink gets spilled on their clothes, change their outfit to be on the safe side!
If you see several bees or wasps in an area, there may be a nest nearby. Contact a pest service to clear it out and keep your family safe rather than trying to tackle it yourself!
While these tips should help keep you bee sting-free, if your little one does get a sting, here are some simple ways to treat it:
Remove the stinger by pushing the edge of a credit card over the sting to push the stinger out, or pull it out with tweezers;
Clean it with soap and water;
Apply a paste of baking soda mixed with water and cover with a bandage or soak a cotton ball with witch hazel or apple cider vinegar and dab the area;
If it itches, apply a cortisone cream and cover with a bandage so your child doesn’t scratch and possibly cause an infection!
Note: These home solutions are only to be used if there’s no severe allergic reaction. If your child shows signs of distress (pale skin, difficulty breathing, severe hives) seek medical attention!
Avoiding and Treating Bug Bites
Mosquitoes, ticks, and bugs, oh my! With fears of Zika virus and Lyme disease, you may be tempted to avoid letting your kids go out all together! Fortunately, just like the other hazards of summer, ticks, mosquitoes, and other bugs can be avoided, too!
Avoiding bug bites, including mosquitoes and ticks:
Keep grass short, remove brushy areas where your children may play, and remove or cover anything that could hold standing water;
Avoid wooded areas;
Use a flea and tick preventative on your pets;
Mosquitoes are especially prevalent in the evenings, so keep your children covered as much as you can, either in long pants and shirts or covering your baby in a light, muslin blanket;
Use insect repellent containing picaridin or DEET on children over the age of two months;
If your see a tick on your child, don’t panic! Remove it with tweezers and clean the area. Keep an eye for symptoms including pain, fever, or fatigue or a rash developing around the bite. With mosquito bites, a cortisone cream can ease itching or covering it with a bandage to prevent scratching.
I know summer seems scary but with proper precautions, you and your babies can enjoy plenty of fun in the sun. Fortunately, at Piper Jade Kids, you can find plenty of adorable clothes perfect for outdoor adventures, and accessories to go with them! Sign up for our newsletter and get 20 percent off your first purchase!