Just had a summer baby? Here are 6 ways to protect her from the summer heat
If you just had a summer baby, you are probably wondering how to protect her from this scorching summer heat. Here are 6 doctor recommended ways to help you
Summer can be a very harsh season with scorching sun rays often causing skin problems and health issues such as diarrhea and dehydration. Irrespective of factors such as age and gender, the season tends to have impact on all. While adults can take care of themselves, parents have to be extra careful when dealing with children, especially infants and newborn.
"In a case of newborns, the summer becomes extremely unbearable for them as they face season for the first time. Judging the body conditions of new born often becomes challenging because they tend to repeat their body movements and actions irrespective of weather," says Dr. Krishan Yadav, HOD & Consultant Neonatologist, Paras Bliss Hospital, Panchkula, haryana, speaking exclusively to theIndusparent.
However, he adds that signs such as loud and non-stop cries, profuse sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash and rapid breathing are often indicative of them suffering from excessive heat.
"While there are numerous issues that can trouble a newborn in summers, over-heating becomes the direct cause of summer diarrhea, which may even become fatal for a newborn. However, mothers need not get paranoid," says Dr Yadav.
Dr Yadav lists a few things which you can keep in mind to make the season comfortable for your baby.
6 ways to protect your newborn from the scorching summer heat
#1 Keep them at bay from direct sunlight
"The first and foremost precaution to keep in mind for the newborn during summers is to keep them away from direct sunlight. Newborns and infant below six months have very less melanin in their skin to protect against the harmful sun rays. Notably, melanin is the pigment that gives color to the skin, hair and eyes. Therefore, in the absence of melanin, the sun rays tend to damage the skin cell permanently," he says.
#2 Full tub bath to keep cool
Bathing is the best activity to beat the summer heat. Dr Yadav explains, "While it is preferred to sponge the baby than giving a fulltime bath, a full tub bath is recommended in case the baby turns restless due to heat." He adds that the temperature of the water should be moderate.
A mother can judge the water temperature with her elbow to ensure the water is neither too hot nor too cold, as newborns are very sensitive towards the temperature. "A tub bath at night before sleep time could help the baby catch a comfortable sleep," he says.
#3 Choose body oil for massage carefully
Body massages helps in the growth of the baby. Proper massaging helps the tissues and muscle to open, thereby encouraging growth of the baby. However, during summer, you should be careful while choosing an oil for massage. While it is essential to select oil that is best suited for the baby’s delicate skin, it is also important that it should not be sticky.
"Thick oil tends to stick onto the body, which can cause irritation or heat rashes on the baby's body. Replacing the oil with massaging lotion and creams cam also be done. However, in all cases, it is necessary to ensure that they are thoroughly washed off during the bath as oil can block sweat pores, which can cause prickly heat rash," he says.
Read on for more doctor recommended ways to keep your newborn safe from the scorching summer heat.
#4 Talcum powder for dryness and comfort
Applying talcum soon after a tub bath is often recommended and followed. However, use of talcum powder depends on the skin type of you baby. While in some cases, use of talcum powder helps in reducing heat rashes, in others, it aggravates the condition.
"Either way, while using a talcum powder you should be careful that the powder is directly applied to the baby and not inhaled by her. It is advisable to dab the powder in your hand keeping it away from the baby and then apply it into the folds of her skin," he advises.
#5 Keep them under controlled temperature
It is recommended to keep the baby in a temperature ranging between 16 to 20 degrees. It is advisable to pull the curtains and blinds in the baby’s room during the day time to keep it cool.
Dr Yadav says, "You can also leave the fan on to let the air keep circulating in the room. However, do not keep the baby directly near the air conditioner as it can lead to a blocked nose or fever."
#6 Cloth her right
New mums are are confused while dressing up the baby. According to a myth, new born should be heavily dressed as the temperature outside the womb is colder than inside the womb. However in case of summer, you can keep a bit light by reducing the layers.
"It advisable to make the baby wear loose fitted cotton clothes to let her skin breathe and stay comfortable. During summers, cotton clothes are preferred for the baby as the fabric is a good absorbent and helps in soaking sweat. Use a hat while taking her out in sun to prevent her from heatstroke," he says.
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