Keeping Little Ones Cool


Keeping Little Ones Cool


We have all noticed it has been a tad warm  lately, here in our corner of CT.   This  weather need not interfere with summer fun, but there are a few things to bear in mind about babies and toddlers tolerance of heat and sun. These mostly have to do with  their size and stage of growth and development.


  • The smaller the person, the higher their body surface area and a higher percentage of body water. These tendencies makes them more prone to extra water loss in hot conditions.


  • The younger the child , the less likely they are to be able to sense and express thirst, which is the first defense against dehydration. (Think, “Mom I am thirsty”- in hot weather, not  at bedtime , used as a clever  though unoriginal avoidance tactic.)


  • Babies and toddlers cannot open the refrigerator to grab a Gatorade or water bottle. In other words, they cannot access extra fluids on their own.


Some hints to summer sun and heat safety with babies and toddlers:


-Babies, especially those less than six months old, should be kept out of direct 



  • If possible , keep older babies out of the sun between 11am and 3 pm.
  • Cover skin with light clothing and hats as much as possible.


  • Use sunscreen  (SPF 15 at a minimum) manufactured for babies and toddlers on exposure skin.


  • Breastfed babies may need to nurse more often. Formula fed babies may be offered 1-2 ounces of extra water when outdoors.


  • Toddlers will need to be offered fluids frequently when they are playing outdoors; if they seem bored with water, it  is ok to add a little all natural juice . A few cut up strawberries or orange slices sometimes add interest as well.


  • Make sure babies and toddlers are eating. Food, especially baby food, is mostly water.


  • Be alert for signs of possible dehydration. In babies and toddlers, the first signs may be crankiness or lack of energy and dark yellow urine in diapers.


Betsy Groth APRN

(Originally published in the Old Saybrook Early Childhood Counsel newsletter)








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Essex Office One Wildwood Medical Center
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