mother-daughter-love-sunset-51953Labor Day may be only a few weeks away, but the summer heat is still reverberating across the country. With the following tips, you can keep your baby comfortable – and safe – despite the high temperatures.

  1. On the Road

It can be tempting to avoid the heat entirely by staying indoors all day, but that isn’t always realistic with a baby. If you must leave the house, try to schedule your activities or errands for before 10:00 a.m. or after 2:00 p.m., when the sun’s rays are less harmful. Once you strap baby into the car, use your infant carrier’s sunshade to block some of the sun, so long as the shade doesn’t make your baby’s seat hotter. Once you reach your destination, don’t sit with baby in the car without air conditioning, which could cause an increase in baby’s temperature (and if your destination happens to be a grocery store, be sure to strap baby’s car seat into a cart with Safe-Dock before embarking on your trip). Finally, if you live in a particularly hot climate, explore tinting your windows. This will block some UV rays, keep your car cooler and reinforce the strength of your windows’ glass.

  1. At the Park

If your little one is less than six months old, find a place in the shade and avoid sun exposure. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if shade and proper clothing (e.g., brimmed hats, long pants and long sleeves) are not adequate, you may apply a minimal amount of sunscreen to small areas on your baby, such as the face. If your little one is older than six months, use sunscreen and reapply it every two hours, and after cooling off in the pool or ocean. As with infants, dress older children in appropriate attire, including hats and sunglasses, to protect against ultraviolet radiation. Finally, remember to keep baby hydrated with breastmilk, formula or water, depending on baby’s age.

  1. At Home

Even if you have air conditioning, it’s still important to ensure baby is cool while you’re at home. To combat summer heat, dress your little one in loose-fitting, lightweight garments and avoid hot, stuffy rooms. To determine if baby is too warm, feel the back of his or her neck and take appropriate steps to cool down your little one. Consider keeping your home cooler at bedtime by turning up your air conditioning or using a fan in baby’s room. Overheating is a SIDS risk, so it’s essential to be mindful of baby’s temperature during the summer and all year long.

You might have fall on the mind, but the dog days of summer aren’t over yet. With these tips, you’ll be prepared to keep baby safe and beat the heat.