Summertime Safety
"Fun is the Sun" is the theme for summertime. Everyone heads outdoors for picnics, barbecues, wilderness treks and theme park visits. What does this mean for you and your little one? Here are some tips to help you have a fun and SAFE summer:

Everyone loves to get wet in the summer. Infants can enjoy this as well, with a little extra caution. Most importantly, your infant should ALWAYS be within an arm's length of the responsible adult. Try to keep their little ears out of the water to avoid swimmer's ear and general discomfort. There are inflatable rings with an infant harness that babies will love, but you must be sure not to reply on this as a life saving device and continue to remain within arm's length. Remember that the APP does NOT recommend swimming lessons for infants.

Be careful when visiting public pools as there is always the threat of contacting E-coli by swallowing pool water contaminated with diarrhea or stool remnants. To help prevent this make certain the pool's chlorine level is checked hourly, use swim diapers, don't change diapers near the pool, and be certain to wash your hands after changing diapers.

Be aware of other water hazards near your baby. Infants can drown in a very short time in a very small amount of water such as in pools, jacuzzis, toilets, and even a regular 5 gallon bucket. Being top-heavy and having immature balance, a baby can fall headfirst into a bucket and be unable to get out. Even a dog's water dish can be hazardous to a crawling baby.


It is possible for infants who experience sunburn to have permanent damage. Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight by use of shade, light clothing, brimmed hats, etc. Sunscreen may be used on small areas of the body such as the face and the back of the hands if adequate clothing and shade are not available. For older babies, sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before going outside, even on cloudy days. The SPF of your sunscreen should be 15 or higher. Even waterproof sunscreens will likely need to be reapplied every hour or so.


Another annoying factor of life outdoors is insects, especially those that bite! Help your little one stay bug free by avoiding areas where insects nest of congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and blooming flowers. Avoid dressing your baby in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints, and don't use scented soaps or other perfumed products on your child. Otherwise the bugs might mistake him for a flower! :)

In the case a sting or bite does occur, be sure to watch your baby for any abnormal or allergic reaction and call your pediatrician immediately if one occurs. For stings with a visible stinger remaining, remove it by gently scraping it off with a credit card or your fingernail. You may have to use tweezers or your fingers to pinch it out. Soak a cloth in cold water and press it over the area of the sting to reduce pain and swelling. To relieve the itchiness that accompanies bites by mosquitoes, flies, fleas, etc., apply calamine lotion freely onto any part of your child's body except the areas around his eyes and genitals.

  • Be careful to test playground toys to see if they are too hot before placing your baby in or on them.
  • Never leave your infant along with a pet.
  • NEVER leave your infant alone in the car, even for a moment, even if the windows are open. The car can become dangerously hot in a matter of a few minutes.
It is easy to have a fun-filled summer for you and your baby, just be aware of your surroundings and ENJOY!

by Tamitha Lynch