Mom in a field with her baby.

Keeping Your Baby Safe in the Summer 

Everyone loves summer. It’s filled with warm weather, sunshine, and plenty of opportunities to spend time with your loved ones. While it’s important to get outside and enjoy yourself as a family during the summer months, it’s even more important to ensure that your baby stays safe while doing so. There are a few precautions to keep in mind, but don’t let them deter you from going outside. Nature is a great place for your baby to continue growing their curiosity and staying active. To help you reduce any negative side effects of being outside during high temperatures, here’s more information on keeping your baby safe in the summer. 


Safe Summer Temperatures for Babies

Temperatures can fluctuate during the summer months depending on the time of day, where you live, and several other external factors. Chances are, if you’re uncomfortable, so is your baby. However, adults have the ability to regulate their temperature and can drink water as needed. Babies don’t have the same luxury. To help you monitor your baby’s health, familiarize yourself with outdoor and indoor safe summer temperatures.

Outdoor Temperatures

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents avoid taking their babies outside for extended periods of time if the heat index is higher than 90° Fahrenheit. Staying outside with high temperatures like this can increase the risk of overheating. This is especially true if the humidity levels are also high. If you plan to be outside, at least try to schedule breaks in a cooler environment every 15 to 30 minutes.

Indoor Temperatures

Since overheating can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), it’s also important to ensure that your baby’s bedroom is kept at a comfortable temperature during the summer months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a safe sleeping temperature between 68 and 72°F.

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Signs Your Baby is Too Hot

Young babies don’t have the same control over their temperature regulation as older children and adults. This can increase their risk of overheating when it’s hot outside. To reduce this risk, always dress your baby appropriately and know the signs that indicate your baby is too hot. Some of them include:

  • Fussiness or colic
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Disinterest in eating
  • Flushed face or skin
  • Red, rosy cheeks
  • Heat rash
  • Sweatiness


If you notice any signs that your baby is overheating, take them into an air-conditioned space as soon as possible and apply a cool washcloth to their skin. You should also change their clothes and breastfeed to help them rehydrate. If your baby is still showing signs of dehydration or overheating, call your pediatrician or seek medical assistance.


Protecting Your Baby’s Skin

Summer is the season to enjoy the sun, sit by the pool, and relax. While you have melanin to help protect you from the sun and can put sunscreen on to help block out harmful UVA/UVB rays, baby’s skin is a little different.

Babies under six months old don’t have sufficient amounts of melanin in their skin yet, meaning they lack the natural sun protection of most adults. It’s also not recommended to apply too much sunscreen on their developing skin, as it can lead to discomfort and irritation. To help keep them safe, this means they should be kept out of direct sunlight. As they get older, it’s still important to limit their time in direct sunlight, especially on long summer days between the times of 11:00am and 3:00pm, when the sun is at its strongest.

Babies older than six months should wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, preferably higher. Find an option that blocks out both UVA and UVB rays with limited additives to avoid irritation. There are plenty of baby-safe options on the market, so try a few and find your favorite. You can also dress your baby in sun shirts and sunhats to further protect their delicate skin.

How to Identify Heat Rash

Heat rash is a type of skin irritation that can occur on anyone of any age. It can manifest anywhere on the body, but is most common around your baby’s neck, groin, armpit, elbow creases, or chest. Heat rash resembles small, red pimples or blisters and is quite common in babies. While it may be alarming, heat rash can be treated at home and will clear up once your baby’s skin cools down. This can be done by bringing your baby into an air-conditioned space, wiping away the sweat on their body or giving them a cool bath, and changing their clothes. Don’t apply any powders or ointments, as they’re unnecessary and won’t make the rash go away any faster.


5 Tips to Keep Your Baby Cool

When the heat index is between 75 and 80°F or higher, it’s important to take the proper precautions to help keep your baby cool while outside.

1. Find Shade

Just because it’s sunny out, doesn’t mean you need to engage in activities in direct light. Hanging out in the shade is just as good, if not better, than basking in harmful UVA and UVB lights. When you’re planning to head out, find shade or bring it with you in the form of an umbrella, large hat, or stroller shade. 

2. Dress Appropriately

Another way to help keep your baby safe in the summer is to dress them appropriately. While you may think this means as few clothes as possible, sun protection is still important. Opt for baby sun shirts if you plan to be in the water. Otherwise, stick to lightweight cotton, absorbent and breathable materials, or linen.

3. Stay Hydrated

Keeping your baby hydrated is important but remember that babies under six months old should not have water. Instead, you can offer breastmilk or formula to keep your younger children hydrated.

4. Schedule Rest

Being outside in the hot weather can be draining for adults, so consider the energy it requires from younger babies. Make sure you schedule an extra nap into days you plan to be outside to give your baby time to recover from the weather.

5. Avoid Heatwaves

Check the weather before heading to an outdoor activity. If the temperature is going to be above 90°F, it’s best to skip the event and stay indoors. Babies are unable to regulate their temperature, so exposing them to high heat indexes can be dangerous. Similarly, try to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day, which is usually between 11:00am and 3:00pm.


Practice Water Safety

If you’re going to be around any water source, it’s essential that you practice water safety with your baby. Since children between the ages of one and four are at the greatest risk for accidental drowning deaths, this is imperative for new parents, especially around swimming pools. Your baby can enjoy the water and cool off, but only under adult supervision. Never leave your baby or young child unattended in the pool, lake, ocean, river, or any other body of water, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Accidents can happen quickly and unexpectedly, but they are avoidable. To help give you even stronger peace of mind, consider taking baby swim lessons and undergoing CPR training.


Reduce the Risk of Insect Bites

While sun and heat are the most obvious dangers of summer months, insect bites can also be problematic for your baby. In addition to the discomfort they bring, ticks and mosquitos can carry diseases. To reduce these risks, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over the age of two months use an insect repellent with low levels of DEET when they’re at risk for exposure. Babies under two months should not be exposed to any type of repellent. You can also use a mosquito net when they sleep, apply repellent to clothing instead of skin, and avoid locations with stagnant water or high grass. Treat any bites appropriately and if you see a tick on your baby, remove it as soon as possible.

Summer is a great time to bond with your baby and enjoy fun activities outdoors, but you need to take the proper precautions to keep them safe. To make sure your baby has all of the nutrients they need for a day out without dehydration, maintain your breastfeeding schedule. You can also use expelled breast milk from your pumping sessions to supplement feedings when you’re on the go. For some of the best insurance covered breast pumps on the market, head over to the breast pump comparison chart at Byram Healthcare and browse our selection today.