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Newborn care for summer babies
Towering temperatures and sizzling heat can make the summer seem inexorable. This can make it a tough time for you and your baby. Following the few simple precautions for Newborn care for summer babies can help to get you and your baby through the summer healthily.
Common illnesses during the summer
Babies are inclined to illness, predominantly during the summer. The following are the most common dangers for the babies during hot weather.
- mosquito borne diseases: dengue, malaria and chikungunya
- heat stroke
- prickly heat
- skin allergies and rashes
- insect bites
- Hygiene and cleanliness
The summer heat increases perspiration, which can lead to the skin infections and rashes. When bathing the baby, take special care to wash her/his neck, underarms and other visible folds in her/ his body. Increasing number of proper baths or sponge baths will keep her clean and cool. You could add the few drops of eucalyptus oil or neem oil to bath to naturally disinfect her body. You could also wash the baby’s laundry in hot water with the mild disinfectant to get rid of germs. Regularly clean the baby’s hands, especially if she keeps touching her face.
Keep the baby cool and comfortable in loose fitting cotton clothing that lets her the skin breathe. When it gets particularly hot some mothers leave their little ones in nothing but a T-shirt or singlet the whole day. Use a summer hat to protect her/ his face when you step out.
If there are mosquitoes in your area then keep the baby’s arms and legs covered with clothes made from light, breathable materials, like cotton.
Food and drink
As long as you are completely breastfeeding your baby, you will not need to give her water. But your baby may feed more often and for shorter periods in the heat. This is because she/ he will feel thirsty. But the body is well made because the first milk that comes out is the watery foremilk which will give your baby all the fluids she/ her needs.
If you are formula feeding your baby, you might need to give her water in the heat. You will need to be extremely careful about sterilising the bottle or bowl and spoon you use to feed your baby with and making sure the water is safe. Do speak to your doctor before introducing the water though.
You will also need to take care when preparing your food. What you eat might affect your breastmilk, which in turn can affect your baby’s health. Some studies show that a baby’s tummy can get upset by changes in her mother’s diet.
Home and surroundings
Ventilate the home by keeping windows open, unless the hot dry wind (loo) is blowing. Throw away sluggish water that has collected in open vessels, like flower pots or coolers.
Pest control can also protect your home against all kinds of disease causing insects, like cockroach bites, ants and flies. Use good quality disinfectant to clean your home and keep it hygienic.
Carry out a pre-summer check in your home. Check that it is clean and safe. Get rid of any potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Look for gaps under the door and in the windows where hot air and insects can come in and get them repaired. You might like to call an electrician to check your fans and fridge are in good working condition for the summer. Your cooler or air conditioner will also need servicing.
- Most summer diseases can be avoided by staying indoors in the cool clean environment. When you go out with your baby take the following precautions to keep her cool and healthy:
- Keep her away from crowded places, where the chances of catching an infection are high.
- Keep her away from direct sunlight and hot temperatures, especially the hot dry winds.
- Use a mosquito net to protect your baby from harmful insect bites.
- Keep her clean. Regularly wash her hands and trim her nails.
- Use sunscreen to protect her from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Despite your best efforts to keep your baby healthy, babies do fall sick. If this happens then contact your doctor.
In case you don’t have it already, consider getting health insurance. Health insurance can help to minimise any unforeseen expenses due to medical emergencies. Several health care packages are available nowadays to suit different budgets and medical requirements.
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