Summer is just around the corner and it is time for parents to start preparing. For some people, this time is for relaxation and rest, but as a parent it can be super stressful! Starting small and being prepared for the summertime will save you a lot of stress, especially by educating yourself on the best ways to keep your little one safe during the hot months. Once you’ve taken the steps to prepare your child for the sun, a good time is guaranteed! Keep reading to hear the best tips on keeping your baby safe in the summer.

When dealing with small children, you have to be prepared to protect them from the sun. Babies under 6 months have very delicate skin, so it is important to try to keep them out of direct sunlight. However, sometimes that can be pretty impractical because everyone wants to have fun in the sun! When you want to go take a dip in the pool, just make sure your baby has the right sunscreen on. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated and confirmed that it is safe to apply a minimal amount of sunscreen to a baby’s exposed skin, including the face (and it is highly recommended). Zinc oxide provides full coverage.

For a baby older than 6 months, the limits on sunscreen application are much less restrictive, as the skin on your child will develop and become stronger over time. It is crucial to reapply the sunscreen every two hours, or whenever your baby gets exposed to water or is visibly sweating. Choosing a waterproof sunscreen designed for kids with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 is the best option. Don’t forget to apply it under their clothing too. Most summer clothing is not very protected from the sun.

Better yet, purchase a sun hats or UV protective clothing. Long Sleeved “Rash Guard” swim suits and swim tops are very popular and affordable. Rufflebutts carries a cute line of this SPF 50 swimwear. When hanging out outdoors on hot days, finding a shady place to hang out is your best choice when you have a small child with you.

Bugs are not everyone’s favorite aspect of summer. So, to avoid them from affecting your baby in any way, using a natural insect repellent on your little one’s skin is a great idea. Most insect repellants include the chemical DEET.  Children under 2 months should not use DEET.

If you are not comfortable using DEET on your child (as opposed to using a natural repellent), try putting it on clothing or on the stroller. It is also very important to make sure that your child has not been exposed to any ticks. Prevent this from going unnoticed by checking them head to toe after being outside (especially in wooded areas) and if spotted, remove immediately. Avoid hanging out in areas with stagnant water, where mosquitoes are more likely to gather, and remember to wash off repellents once you and your little one are back indoors.

It may not be your first priority to introduce your baby to swimming right away. However, you must acknowledge that your child will come into contact with water eventually and that swimming is a life skill they will need to know. The most important tip on slowly introducing your baby to water is proper and constant supervision while allowing them to get used to the water around them. Think about swim lessons in an indoor pool during off summer months – more assurance that they won’t be exposed to sunlight.

Remember to be patient with them as well. Having other people around for encouragement and ensuring safety is another recommendation. If you would prefer a professional to teach your little one how to swim, contact your local pool or waterpark to find a swim class that can even include parents.


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April 30, 2022 — Emma Swain

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