Baby Safety Reminders for Summertime Fun

posted by Jeannette Hasley on Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Summertime is upon us and you want to venture outside and soak up the sun’s warmth as much as you can. You know it’s important to use sunscreen for you, but you wonder if it’s okay to also use it on your one-month old baby? The answer is no.

You should not begin to use sunscreen until your baby is 6 months old. While it is very important to protect these littlest humans from sun exposure, however, a baby’s skin is not as mature as an adult’s. So if you were to apply sunscreen to a baby, your little one may react to the chemicals in the sunscreen and have side effects from it. Yet, you know how an adult feels when they have a sunburn, so you can imagine the impact of a sunburn on the delicate skin of a newborn baby, which means it’s essential to protect baby’s skin using methods other than sunscreen.

Fortunately, there are other ways to protect babies from the sun. One way is to simply keep them inside, out of the sun, or when outside, in a shaded area as much as possible. If you don’t have a shady area to lounge in, simply grab your umbrella and create shade. Also, be aware of the hottest time of the day and try to stay inside or at least in the shade during this time. In our region, this would be between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Other options for protecting baby in summer weather include:

  • Add a hat to their wardrobe. Just keep in mind that the hat should not only have a brim, but also little flaps which can cover their neck and ears too.
  • Dress baby in long sleeves and pants. However, if you do this just make sure baby doesn’t get overheated. Little babies don’t have a mature system that can heat/cool their bodies so keeping them from overheating in the Iowa summer weather is important. Keep an eye on them for any signs that they are telling you they are getting over heated, such as getting red in the face or becoming fussy.
  • Make sure your baby stays hydrated too. Be sure to give them plenty of breastmilk or formula.

Our summer months pass quickly and so does that short window of time when our children are so small.  Go out and enjoy Iowa summer, but please take a few precautionary measures to keep baby protected and cool!

About The Author

Jeannette Hasley

Jeannette L. Hasley is our Director of Obstetrics, Women's Health & Diabetes Education. Jeannette earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. She started her nursing career in Denver, Colorado where she quickly learned that she had a deep passion that would be fueled b ... read more