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Home » Your health and services » Stay well this summer » Staying well in hot weather - tips for parents and guardians

Keeping children and babies cool in hot weather can be a challenge. Babies cannot regulate their own body temperature and toddlers are also more sensitive to temperature. To keep babies cool in summer, you should follow these rules of thumb.

How to keep babies cool in summer

  • Keep babies less than 6 months old out of direct sunlight.
  • Older infants should also be kept out of the sun as much as possible, and if you do take them out, use a parasol to shade their pushchair.
  • Regularly apply sunscreen of at least SPF15.
  • When outside, protect your baby’s head and neck with a hat that has a wide brim or a flap that covers the neck. Always take a baby's hat off when back indoors, even if it means waking them up.
  • Keep your baby hydrated – either by topping up their bottled milk feeds with a little cooled boiled water, letting them feed more often from the breast, or for older children, encouraging them to drink more. If they refuse water, try to mix things up with squash or low-sugar fruit juice, salads or homemade ice lollies.

Some commonly asked questions on keeping babies cool

 

What room temperature is too hot for a baby?

 

You should try to keep the temperature of your baby’s room between 16°C to 20°C. This will help ensure your baby's body temperature stays within the normal range of 36.6°C to 37.2°C. A simple room thermometer can help you track the temperature in your baby’s room.

Is my baby too hot?

 

A normal temperature for babies is around 36.4°C. A fever is generally considered to be a temperature of 38°C or more. If you’re worried your baby may be too hot, look for sweating and touch them to feel their temperature. Remove layers one at a time until your baby feels cooler. You can more accurately check your baby’s temperature with a thermometer.

Visit the NHS website for guidance on how to check your baby’s temperature.

How to keep a baby cool in a pram

 

When in the pram, a parasol or clip-on sunshade can keep your baby out of direct sunlight. Don't be tempted to cover your baby with blankets or cloths to keep them out of the sun, as this could cause them to overheat. Check if baby is getting too hot by feeling their tummy or the back of their neck.

Babies younger than 6 months old should be kept out of direct sunlight, as their bodies haven’t yet developed the pigment that helps protect their skin from the sun. Older infants should also be kept out of strong sunlight. The sun is at its strongest between the hours of 11am and 3pm.

How to dress a newborn in hot weather

 

When outdoors, you should always put a hat on your baby in the summer to stop them becoming sunburnt. Hats should have a wide brim or a flap at the back to protect both their head and neck. However, a baby's hat needs to come off straightaway when back indoors, even if it means waking them up. Otherwise, the may overheat.

Loose cotton clothing can also help keep your baby cool.

How to keep a baby’s room cool in summer

 

Keep your baby’s room cool by blocking the sun from coming in with light-coloured blinds or curtains. Dark-coloured blinds or curtains can actually increase the temperature of a room. You could also keep a window open during the day, if safe to do so, to keep the room from getting too hot.

Putting a fan in the bedroom can help to circulate the air, but make sure that both the fan itself and the wire is out of reach, and that the fan isn't pointed directly at the baby, or could potentially fall into the baby's cot.

How to keep my baby cool during the night

 

Run them a cool bath before bedtime and keep nightwear and bedclothes to a minimum. Just a nappy with no bedding is fine in hot weather.

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