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How to keep your baby safe in the sun this summer

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How to keep your baby safe in the sun this summer

How to keep your baby safe in the sun this summer

Whether youre heading abroad or taking a break in Britain, if youre going to be out enjoying the warmer summer weather, you need to know how to help your baby adapt to rising temperatures and protect his skin from the sunhellip;

Grown-ups might love to sunbathe, but your tots skin is very different to yours. lsquo;A babys skin is much thinner than an adults, so burns far more easily, explains nurse-turned-nanny Hannah Love.

A babys skin has hardly any melanin ndash; the pigment that helps protect from the suns rays. So, its vital to keep a baby under six months in the shade when possible. If he is in sunlight, he should be covered with loose clothing, so the rays dont hit his skin directly.

Older babies and toddlers can enjoy some sunshine if theyre protected with a high-factor sunscreen. Choose one specifically formulated for babies and toddlers to avoid irritating their more sensitive skin. Use one with a sun protection factor (SPF) no lower than 25, and preferably 50.

lsquo;Make sure your sun cream is new, as the factor diminishes as the cream gets older, advises Hannah. Generously apply to all skin thats showing. Dont forget the ears and any scalp thats showing, including a hair parting. And dab, rather than smear, it on the skin.

Read next: The best sunscreens for babies and children

Sun-safe clothing and kit is vital. lsquo;If your tot is in direct sunlight, he should wear a hat, protective clothing and sunglasses, says Hannah. Opt for a body-covering sunsuit with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating of 50+ to block out 97.5% of the suns rays. Choose a hat with a strap under the chin to avoid it being pulled off. For sunglasses, look for the CE Mark, the British Standard BSEN 1836:2005 and a UV 400 label. A wrap-around style will help keep out all the suns rays.

If your tot does get pink shoulders or a burnt nose, treat it seriously. lsquo;Keep an eye on him, says Hannah. lsquo;Ensure hes hydrated and give a child-appropriate painkiller, such as Calpol, under the guidance of a pharmacist or GP. Apply calamine lotion, aloe vera products or Sudocrem. If it is more severe or blisters, seek medical help.

In a hot climate, tots need more fluids to stay hydrated. If youre breastfeeding, as long as you stay well hydrated, you dont need to worry. lsquo;Breastmilk becomes more watery in the heat in order to hydrate babies ndash; how clever is that! says Hannah.

lsquo;If youre bottle-feeding, offer water in between feeds to keep up fluid levels. Be alert for fewer wet nappies, as this is the first sign of dehydration.

A sunken fontanelle (soft spot on the head) in very small babies can also be an indication. lsquo;Offer sips of water or breastfeed more often, says Hannah. lsquo;For older babies and toddlers, dilute mineral-rich coconut water to combat dehydration. If your baby has low energy, is unresponsive or refusing fluids, seek medical help.

Its very common for a weaned tots appetite to reduce in the heat. lsquo;Try not to worry about food and just concentrate on fluids, such as watered-down fruit juice, advises Hannah. Try making ice pops with water and fruit juice, and smoothies by blending fruit and water.

lsquo;Think of your tots body as a sponge, advises Hannah. lsquo;Give small sips of fluid throughout the day and the sponge will soak this up. But give one big drink three times a day and most of the fluid runs straight off the sponge (or through the body).

lsquo;A baby doesnt have the ability to regulate temperature like an adult, explains Hannah. The area of the brain that does this (the hypothalamus) doesnt mature until age five. lsquo;A higher metabolism means a babys body temperature is higher than an adults, plus a baby doesnt have the same ability to sweat, adds Hannah. lsquo;So its important that you monitor and help your baby regulate his temperature. The best way is to stay in the shade.

Watch out for hot pushchairs and prams too. Ensure air can circulate and fit a sun-protective canopy or pop a white muslin over the hood to reflect heat. lsquo;If your tot gets hot, playing in water in the shade will cool him down, says Hannah.

lsquo;Before bed, give your baby a tepid (not cold) bath and use a low-tog sleeping bag and a cotton vest, says Hannah. lsquo;A frozen bottle of water in front of a fan acts as a homemade air-conditioning unit, but make sure your baby isnt directly in the breeze. During the day, close curtains and blinds to keep the room cool.

If your baby is older than six months, some sun exposure can be good. lsquo;In summer, older babies need to have their hands and face exposed to direct sunlight for 15 minutes, a few times a week, to get enough vitamin D from sunlight, advises Hannah. Avoid any unprotected exposure between 11am and 2pm when the sun is strongest. At other times, dont worry if your tot wants to explore in the sunshine for a few moments before you get the sunscreen.

Read next: The best sunscreens for babies and children

Read next: The best holiday destinations to visit with a baby

How to keep your baby safe in the sun this summer

The best foundations with SPF for your summer makeup

If you only have time for a single step in your morning makeup routine, make it a foundation with SPF. With one sweep youll hide signs of tiredness and protect skin from the sun, essential as we head into summer – meaning your skin will look glowing while being protected from the sun as you play with your little ones in the garden. Heres our pick of the best buys.

How to keep your baby safe in the sun this summer

Babys first flight – how to have a stress-free plane journey with your tot

If youre taking your tot on a plane for the first time this summer, heres how to make it a breeze…

How to keep your baby safe in the sun this summer

Favourite children’s swimwear brand Splash About has launched a new maternity range – perfect for summer holidays.

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