As the holidays draw to a close we may feel as though the summer fun is over, but in truth, the warmest days are still to come! We are into the hottest months of the year in South Africa and it is wonderful to lap up the fabulous weather with our babies and toddlers. There is nothing like a little body toddling around in nothing more than a nappy, embracing nature and the great outdoors.
Sandpits, beaches and water play are a fabulous sensory experience for your little one. But there is some wisdom that needs to go hand in had with this sensory smorgasbord:
Time in the sun is wonderful for our Vitamin D levels and has also been proven to enhance sleep and mood. However the risk of sunburn and dehydration is a real threat, especially for a small body. Here are my tips to managing sun and your little one:
- Under 6 months your baby should spend no time in direct sunlight. If you want to enjoy the outdoors with her, place her in the shade or under an umbrella. Always take note of reflected sun too, which can also cause sunburn. There are very few sun creams that are cleared for use on such sensitive skins so rather avoid the sun altogether.
- Do not spend leisure time in the sunshine between 11am and 3pm. Indoor-play is best over the peak of the sun’s heat, to avoid the risk of sunburn and dehydration.
- Rash vests are vital for little ones. Do not buy that cutesy bikini for your toddler. Rather invest in a rash vest made of SPF protected fabric.
- Lather your little one in sun cream that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Use a sun cream with an SPF of 30 or more and apply it at least 15 minutes before sun exposure.
To avoid the risk of dehydration, ensure your little one is well hydrated, feed her breast milk or water (if on formula) regularly while the temperatures are high. Also make sure she continues to have regular wet nappies, showing that she is taking in enough liquids.
Never leave your baby or toddler unattended near water! Babies can drown in the smallest level of water.
So have fun and be safe in the hot African sun!