Summer Safety Tips for Babies and Toddlers
Emily Blewett, RN, BSN, Certified CPR & First Aid Instructor and Certified Moms on Call Consultant is sharing tips on how to keep our children safe this summer.
Sun Safety for Newborns
Babies can’t wear sunscreen until 6 months old. This means we need to keep them out of direct sunlight to protect their skin. A sun hat with a brim is a summer essential to help protect them. It is recommended to dress babies in loose-fitting clothing to prevent them from getting too warm.
Newborns have a higher natural body temperature, so we want to be careful and prevent them overheating.
Here are some signs of overheating:
- Heat rash
- Red cheeks.
A portable fan will come into great use for the summer to help keep them cool. Try and stay in areas with babies that are shaded. Make sure to keep your newborn cool and hydrated this summer. For babies under 12 months old, we only keep them hydrated with breastmilk or formula.
For children who are 6 months old and older, apply a generous amount of sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun. According to KidsHealth, we want a 30 or higher SPF with a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen that is water-resistant. Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours.
Childproof on Vacation
If you are staying at a family or friend’s house or have rented a vacation home, make sure to childproof. Accidents can happen anywhere. When there are many people gathering together, the adults can easily assume someone else is watching the child(ren). I always travel with the Door Monkey to place on the bedroom door where my child is sleeping to keep them safe in the room. I also use it on any door that leads to cleaning supplies, alcohol and other items that pose a risk to children. Some other childproofing items that are easy to pack: outlet covers, door knob covers, and bumpers to use on sharp corners on furniture. There is a rental service called Baby Quip that makes it easier to childproof and travel with children. You can use them for baby gates, bumpers, car seat, bouncy seat, humidifier, etc!
Make sure to carefully check the home or hotel room out when you arrive to look under furniture, in cabinets, closets, and on the floor for anything that poses a hazard to your child. Look for anything that poses as a choking, poisonous, strangulation or injury hazard. Falls are common throughout anytime of the year. Stairs and windows result in some of the most common injuries that are seen many times in the ER. Make sure to have a baby gate at top and bottom of stairs and a safety lock on all windows.
Quick-Grab First Aid Kit
Make sure to have a first aid kit in your purse or diaper bag.
- Water Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Squeezable ice pack
- 4×4 and 2×2 gauze
Plus if you are traveling, don’t forget:
- Vomit bags
Children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates. This doesn’t just happen in the pool, but can happen around any source of water, including the bathtub. “Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death *in the home* for children 1-4 years old.” –Safekids.org
Never leave your child unattended in a bath, even to run to another room to get your phone or a towel. Always drain the bath tub immediately when bath time is done.
Give your child(ren) your full and undivided attention while they are in the bathtub and around any source of water (pool, creek, lake, inflatable pool, ocean, bucket of water, etc.). Children can drown in a few inches of water. If you are around natural bodies of water, such as a lake or ocean, always make sure they have a life jacket on – this is important, even if they already know how to swim. Life jackets can also be used in and around the pool. Drowning happens quickly and quietly, their needs to be a designated adult watching the child(ren) around any source of water.
Make sure to learn the life-saving skills of CPR! If a child does drown or get injured, you need to be able to respond quickly! Immediate high-quality CPR double or triples your child’s chance of survival.
Are you ready to become confident in your ability to be able to care for your child or someone else’s child in the event of an emergency? Take the Moms on Call Infant + Child CPR, Choking, and First Aid Online Course! We even include quick reference guides for you to print to have on hand to refer to at any moment!