Baby Explorer: Safety in the Great Outdoors
Before you and your baby venture outside to enjoy some fresh air, make sure she’s properly protected from the elements and bugs. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that parents keep their infants out of the sun if they are younger than 6 months because their skin is too sensitive for sunscreen. If they’re older than that and you’re ready to head outdoors, here are some safety tips from the foundation and Parents magazine.
- To protect your baby from direct sunlight in the car, install ultraviolet (UV) window film or get a removable mesh window shield.
- Dress your little one in lightweight SPF clothing that protects her arms and legs.
- Cover her face, neck and ears with a hat or bonnet with a wide brim.
- If you take a walk, go early or late – before 10am or after 4pm - and make sure your stroller has a cover to protect your infant from the sun.
- Apply sunscreen (at least SPF 30) to any exposed skin at least 15-20 minutes before going outside to allow for the sunscreen to absorb and dry.
- Keep your baby well hydrated and cool because infants can easily get overheated.
- If her skin is hot and flushed, and she has a raised temperature seek a cool environment. If she has a temperature above 105 degrees F or if you think she is acting out of character, she may have heat stroke, call 911 right away. Cool her off quickly by removing her from the heat, taking off her clothes and using a sponge and room-temperature water on her skin.
- Keep a fence around your pool, and ask your neighbors to place a fence around their pools as well.
- Make sure infants don’t go near or in any body of water without adult supervision.
- Remember that a baby can drown in less than one inch of water.
- Take an infant and child CPR class.
- Dress your baby in lightweight, long pants and long-sleeve shirts to shield her from biting insects.
- You can apply non-DEET insect repellant to your little one’s clothes. Make sure you spray it on her clothing before you dress her.
Your baby can develop a mild, prickly heat rash from the hot and humid Florida weather. You can treat it by giving her cool bath without soap or calamine lotion. Call your child’s doctor if the rash is in near or in your baby’s mouth or eyes.