You've probably baby-proofed your house, but what about your outdoor area?
Before summer gets here, you need to make outside fun as safe for baby as possible.
1. Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., sunlight is most intense. If you are outside during the hottest part of the day, try to stay in the shade. Dress baby in a hat, UVA-blocking infant sunglasses, and clothing made of lightweight, tightly woven fabric or sun-proof material.
On babies 6 months and older, use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 to all exposed areas. Make sure it offers both UVA and UVB protection.
2. Watch for signs of dehydration. During summer, babies should drink about 50 percent more than usual.
3. You know not to leave your baby alone in the bathtub, and the same goes for kiddie pools. Babies can drown in as little as 2 inches of water, so always empty the kiddie pool when not using it.
If you have a large pool in your backyard, check your pool supply company for fences, gates, alarms, and other pool safety products.
When choosing an infant life vest, pick one with fabric that goes between the legs so your child can't slip or wiggle out.
What about chemically treated pools? Chlorine helps keep the bacteria count in the water down, but baby's skin and eyes are very sensitive to the chemical. Try to keep your baby from swallowing pool water as well, to avoid recreational water illness and chlorine poisoning.
4. To avoid bugs, try using mosquito netting to cover baby's stroller or play area. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests using bug repellent on babies 2 months and older, but avoid the baby's face. Use a spray with a DEET concentration of 30 percent or less. Unlike sunscreen, products containing DEET should not be reapplied.
5. Be careful when allowing your baby to play in the grass. Most babies love to put anything they can reach into their mouth, so know what poisonous plants look like. If your yard has been fertilized or treated, kids should stay off it for 24 hours after it has been exposed to at least a quarter inch of rain.
6. Along with the extra clothes, snacks and toys in your diaper bag, include a first aid kit. Remember to include adhesive bandages, antibacterial spray or wipes, gauze pads and tape, hydrocortisone cream, triple antibiotic ointment, and infant Tylenol or Motrin.
7. For more summer safety tips, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website.
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