Safety Tips for Summer

DURHAM CONNECTS

Safety Tips for Summer

 

SUN Exposure

~The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting sun exposure for babies younger than 6 months as much as possible between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun is strongest.  Babies are less able to sweat which helps lower internal temperature.

~Expose baby to the outdoors in small amounts of time over 10-14 days.  Protecting your baby’s delicate skin is important.  It can take just 15 minutes for unprotected skin to be damaged by the sun. 

~Be sure to check with your baby’s provider regarding the use of sunscreen.

 

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STROLLERS & Sun protection

Be sure to have a sun canopy on the stroller.  AVOID using a blanket (even ones made of breathable fabrics) to drape over stroller for head to toe sun protection!  Your baby can get overheated from poor or no air circulation creating an oven like effect.  Also, there is no visibility to see if your baby is in any distress when a blanket is shielding your baby from your view.  Best to get a canopy extender for your stroller for better sun protection.

 

DRESSING

AVOID overdressing your baby on hot days.  A light colored short sleeved onesie is best if the baby can be out of direct sun.  A broad brimmed hat is good to protect your baby’s face and neck.  If you cannot avoid sun exposure dress the baby in a lightweight but tight (not see through) weave (for best UV protection) long sleeve shirt and long pants.   

 

SIGNS of OVERHEATING/DEHYDRATION

~Warm to the touch (warmer than how your baby’s typically warm belly feels)

~Extreme thirst – under 6 months breast milk or formula is all that is needed.  If producing less than 6 wet diapers in a day offer the baby more feedings of breast milk or formula.

~Mouth appears dry & tacky

~Sweating profusely

~Acting very tired or weak, showing general lack of energy & alertness

 

CAR SAFETY

~NEVER leave your baby in the car for even a quick dash into a store!  TAKE THE BABY with you.

~Car temperature can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes.   Babies' body temperature rises 5 x faster than an adult's.  On a 60 degree day, a car can heat up to over 110 degrees.

~Leave your purse, briefcase or some item that you must have beside the baby’s car seat so you will never by accident forget the your baby in the car seat strapped to the back seat of the car.

After Delivery Survival Tips

1.  DOWNSIZE YOUR PRIORITIES-Feeding, diaper changing, holding your baby and napping will take most of your time for the first week to 10 days! Set attainable goals for yourself: i.e get a daily shower or a short daily walk or dress in comfortable clothes vs. your pajamas. It's OK for now that you can't do all that you used to do before the baby arrived.  Life with your baby will become less overwhelming in the weeks ahead. 

2.  VISITORS-Accept specific offers of help (i.e. wash dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep) from Dad, family or friends otherwise keep visitors at bay for at least first 3-5 days.  Enjoy time with your baby and let others help do the chores!  

3.  SELF CARE-Whenever the baby sleeps, rest (be off your feet & read, listen to music, watch TV or just close your eyes & do nothing) or sleep if you can. Remember you are recovering from the hard physical work of giving birth or having a C-Section delivery. 

4. FLEXIBILITY & PATIENCE-Each day is likely to be different getting to know how to care for your baby.  Remember both you and your baby are learning at the same time; so be patient. 

5.  HOLDING A SLEEPING BABY- Yes, babies love the comfort of being held, however, you need sleep, too.  When moving a baby from your arms to the bassinet or crib, give the baby time to resettle with some gentle rocking with your hand and soothing voice.  Baby may fuss and appear to "not like the crib" but with some patience your baby will relax and continue to drift off to sleep.  

6. BREASTFEEDING-if you are breastfeeding and begin to struggle once you and your baby are home, contact a Lactation Consultant if your baby's pediatric practice has one or Call Durham Connects 919-385-0777.  Any of the nurses can provide help over the phone or set up time to come to your home to help you.  You can also set up a visit online by visiting our online Sign-Up. 

7. REACH OUT-the first days at home with a baby can feel overwhelmingly isolating.  Contact anyone who is available to provide support for you or check online websites for new mom/parent support.  Getting reassurance that what you are experiencing is normal will help.  Realizing you are not alone also helps.  Getting help from family, friends or neighbors can make a difference in helping you get through the initial days of fatigue, confinement and adjustment to a "new normal" now that your baby has arrived.