Beat the heat: Expert tips to keep your baby cool and hydrated in the summers

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theindusparent.com spoke to Dr Ashish Gupta, Paediatrician, Primus Super Speciality Hospital for some easy tips and tricks to keep your baby comfortable this summer.

The scorching summer heat and humidity can be tough to deal with, especially for babies. There are many health issues that mothers should be wary of in the summer months such as diarrhoea, heat rashes and dehydration.

Keeping babies hydrated and comfortable during the summer months can be difficult, which is why we thought of getting some expert advise for you.

theindusparent.com spoke to Dr Ashish Gupta, Paediatrician, Primus Super Speciality Hospital for some easy tips and tricks to keep your baby comfortable this summer.

#1 Keep them hydrated

Dr Gupta says that the baby's diet is important and special care should be taken in the summer months as babies get dehydrated quickly.

"Young babies can get dehydrated very quickly because they have larger surface area. Hydration is most important aspect of baby care during summers. Breastfed babies should be frequently fed milk. There is no need for water supplementation. However, formula-fed babies sometimes require water supplementation to maintain hydration," he says.

For older kids and toddlers, different fluids such as coconut water, shikanji, ORS, juices, soups etc should be used frequently which replenish water and salt of body lost in sweat, he advises.

"The best way to judge hydration status is by keeping a tab on the urine frequency and moisture in mouth. Children should pass good volume non-high coloured urine and there mouth should feel moist, if well hydrated," he says.

#2 Check the folds of the skin during a bath

Children sweat a lot in summer, but that does not mean that they should be spending the day under the shower or bath 3-4 times a day.

"Babies should be bathed 1-2 times a day with normal water and not cold water to keep the body cool and comfortable. Special care should be taken to clean the folds of the skin under the thighs, arms and neck as sweat glands may get blocked and cause rash," says Dr Gupta.

#3 Don't overdress your baby

Children should not be over-clothed as that might lead to profuse sweating and loss of fluids. It could also result in prickly heat, says Dr Gupta.

"Babies should be kept in a cool, ambient environment which is about 25 – 28 degrees centigrade. Some doctors think that using talcum powder can help to prevent and treat mild cases of heat rash, whereas others believe that talcum powder could make it worse, by clogging the sweat pores. That's a personal choice. Maintaining adequate hydration and nursing children in cool environment helps in preventing babies from being overheated and also lowers their risk of a heat stroke," adds Dr Gupta.

 #4 Mothers should be wary of these summer illnesses 

"The illnesses which are more common in summers are gastrointestinal infections (diarrhoea), jaundice (hepatitis A and E), skin rashes, dehydration, heat stroke etc. One should avoid eating out and drink hygienic water to prevent GI infections," says Dr Gupta.

Keeping your child indoors in cool, comfortable environment and giving them replenishing fluids would help them stay comfortable. Besides, make sure the kids wear cool, comfortable clothes and have a good diet so that they can replace the lost nutrients.

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