February hasn’t even begun, and my little ones have already begun kicking the covers off. While we have an air conditioner at home, we prefer to use it only sparingly and only on extremely hot nights. But this cover-kicking is a sure heralding sign that summer is just around the corner and we have to gear up to face it.
Summer means havoc on our skin and hair. But while we as grown ups know and take measures to prevent sun damage, so must we take care of our little ones. Their skin and hair are especially sensitive to the harsh direct sun that scorches just about everything in the summer.
Here are some pointers to keep your baby and kids cool this summer.
1. Keep them in light cotton clothes
Synthetic clothes tend to trap sweat, rather than absorb it, leading to itching, and prickly rashes on their sensitive skin. Light cotton clothes are your best bet. I remember this time, when we had to go for a wedding. It was a hot May afternoon, and one of my family members insisted that my daughter should be dressed in her best party suit. But before we reached the venue, my poor baby was itchy and extremely uncomfortable. I bought a pack of prickly heat powder right away. That and the air conditioned venue meant that my daughter stayed comfortable thereafter. But that was a lesson learnt.
If you must go for a wedding, have your baby dressed in suitable party clothes made in cotton or light turkish cotton, to keep him/her comfortable.
2. Do not step out in the afternoons
Unless it is an emergency, do not step out in the sun with your baby. If you must, make sure that his skin is well protected with a sunscreen approved by your pediatrician. Carry a baby hat with you with wide enough brim to cover their head comfortably.
3. Have your baby drink water
If your baby is more than six months old, give them frequent sips of previously boiled and cooled water from a sipper. Resist giving too cold water. If your baby is less than six months old, and breastfeeding, feed him frequently. The fore milk contains more water and is sufficient for your baby as long as you keep drinking plenty of water.
If your baby is less than six months old, and you are formula feeding, then you may need to supplement the baby’s intake with a little previously boiled and cooled water.
4. Bathe the baby carefully
Use a good moisturizing soap instead of using massage oils. Massage oils left behind can be a source of great discomfort for the baby. If your baby is older, just a moisturizing soap is enough. If you have massaged the baby with oil, make sure to get rid of all the oil residue.
5. Prickly heat care
Despite our best efforts, babies usually end up getting heat rashes in the neck, nape of the neck and nappy areas. Do not use prickly heat powders on babies less than two years old. And for those more than two years old, use them only with their pediatrician’s approval.
If rashes do appear, make sure to wipe them with cool water frequently to keep these areas bacteria-free. Apply calamine lotion to soothe the baby’s skin.
6. Wash baby’s hair every alternate day.
Washing your baby’s hair too frequently can strip it of its natural oils, leaving them limp and lifeless. However use an ultra mild shampoo and wash their hair on alternate days to prevent sweat build up.
7. Do not go overboard with talcum powder.
While talcum powder may feel refreshing, do not go overboard with it. Use it in small quantity. Using too much powder can cause it to clump in their skin folds, after getting mixed with their sweat, and can cause raw areas. If you must use talcum powder choose the one with cornstarch, as it is known to prevent prickly heat.
While applying talcum powder, be sure to keep your hands away from the baby’s face. Take a very small quantity in your hands. Apply gently onto the baby’s skin in a thin layer. Make sure that the baby doesn’t inhale the talcum powder.
I wish you and your baby a happy and healthy summer season. 🙂