Ask a Doc: How do I keep my newborn safe from the summer heat and sunshine?

Question: As a new parent, what do I need to know about keeping my newborn safe in the heat of summer?

Answer: Heat can be dangerous to young infants. These dangers include dehydration, overheating, damage to skin with a potential increased risk of skin cancer and, in extreme cases, even death.

But don’t worry yet, new parents. We’re here to tell you which warning signs to watch for and give you tips on how to keep your baby safe from the heat and sun. 

The most appropriate fluids to offer arebreast milk and/or formula which have the proper electrolyte balance.

In order to enjoy a healthy and happy day at the pool with a young infant, parents will need to plan ahead. Choose a spot with ample shade and ensure that the shade will remain throughout your time at the pool, like a cabana or umbrella.

If possible, limit your time outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.

If overheating occurs, immediately take the infant into a cooler environment and remove layers of blankets and clothing.

If this occurs, place the infant in a cooler environment, offer fluids and consider seeking medical assistance.

Planning ahead and keeping these tips in mind will help ensure your family has a healthy and happy summer.

For more information, visit HealthyChildren.org.

Katy Mullens, MD, Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Child Health at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

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