This year we have already seen the sunniest spring since records began, and 2020 is set to be one of the warmest years on record. While most of us enjoy being out in the sun during summer, parents will know that hot weather can make babies uncomfortable and can put their health at risk. As part of Sheffield’s Baby Safe initiative, we will be sharing the latest advice for keeping babies safe in hot weather from trusted sources such as the NHS and the Lullaby Trust.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, and one of Sheffield’s Baby Safe Champions, said:
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families, and one of Sheffield’s Baby Safe Champions, said:
“The last few months have been a difficult time for all of us, especially for families who have been stuck indoors during lockdown. Now, as the lock down eases, everyone will be looking forward to getting out and enjoying the sunshine. However we must still take care and stay safe, we know that the sun and heat can be dangerous for us all, but that’s especially true for babies, particularly those under six months old. It’s not just the higher temperatures and exposure to the sun that poses a health risk, but changes in routine.
“I want to remind parents and carers to be sun safe and keep babies cool this summer. Also where ever you are, please remember the safer sleep rules so you and your baby can enjoy spending time outside in the sun.”
Here are some of the steps you can take to help keep your baby comfortable and safe this summer:
Be Sun Safe
Babies should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible. At this age, their skin contains too little melanin, which provides us with some natural protection from the sun.
- Try to stay in the shade, especially between 11am and 3pm when the sun is strongest
- Make sure your baby wears a sunhat that protects their head and neck
- Apply sunscreen of at least factor 30 regularly if they are out in the sun
- Covering your pram could stop air circulating or lead to overheating. Attach a sunshade or parasol if possible
Keep Your Baby Cool
Hot weather can make babies uncomfortable and put them at risk of overheating. Here’s what you can do to help keep them cool.
- Keep your baby hydrated. Breast milk or formula should be their main drink up to 12 months
- Close blinds or curtains to keep your baby’s room cool during the day
- Use a thermometer to check the temperature of their room – it should be kept between 16 and 20 degrees
- Keep nightwear and bedclothes to a minimum – a nappy and one tucked in sheet will do
Remember Safer Sleep Rules
If you’re going away on holiday with your baby this summer, you might have a change of routine, but remember safer sleep rules.
- Keep your baby in the same room as you to sleep and keep the room cool
- Remember co-sleeping can be very dangerous, especially if you have had a drink
- If you’re taking a staycation with a long car journey, remember babies should not sleep for long periods in a car seat
You can also find further help and advice here:
- Baby Safe: www.sheffield.gov.uk/babysafe
- NHS: www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/childrens-health/how-can-i-keep-my-baby-safe-during-hot-weather/
- Lullaby Trust: www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/baby-summer-safety/
- NHS advice on COVID-19 and summer temperatures: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/06/24/covid-19-and-summer-temperatures/