Staying Safe In The Summer Heat: How To Look After Your Toddler’s Wellbeing During These Coming Months

The summer months can often make parents worry about how to keep their babies and toddlers safe during the hot weather. Toddlers especially want to be outside, but there are things you need to be aware of. A safety-first approach means that you can all enjoy time in the fresh air.


staying safe in summer heat


When Is Too Hot To Go Outside?


In terms of temperature, experts recommend that 90 degrees Fahrenheit, or 32 degrees Celsius, means you should be cautious about taking your little one outside. There are two rules of thumb to follow. Firstly, if it’s too hot for you to stay outside, then it’s too hot for your toddler. Secondly, if you want to avoid having your little one outside during the heat, stay indoors between 11am and 3pm. This tends to be when the sun is at its hottest.


How To Protect Your Little One During The Heat?


If you can’t avoid going outside during the hottest portion of the day, there are some things you can do to minimise the risk.

Take care when you are out and about to go inside regularly. If possible, try to get your little one inside and under some shade every ten to fifteen minutes. This could mean that you duck into shops, or under some form of shelter.

Another thing to watch out for is to make sure that you offer plenty of fluids. Always keep water for your toddler and yourself in your nappy bag. Offer regular sips throughout the day.

Keep in mind that if your little one is active and running around, then they will probably get hotter sooner.


How To Keep Your Toddler Protected While In A Pushchair?


If you’re taking your toddler out and about in a stroller or car seat, think about using one that has a built-in shade canopy. This can help to keep your little one shaded from the sun. If you’re in the car, think about getting UV window shades.

Never use any kind of blanket over the stroller or car seat. Fabrics can be an overheating risk and can stop you from seeing if your little one is in distress.


How To Dress Your Toddler For Hot Weather?


For clothing, look for lightweight and light-coloured items like shorts and t-shirts. Breathable fabrics like cotton are good choices. You could also opt for sun protective clothing like swim tops as they usually have a UV protection in the design. You should try to keep a wide brimmed hat on your toddler to offer protection on the face and neck.




Sunscreen is incredibly important. It only takes fifteen minutes for the sun to damage skin without sunscreen. You may want to look for child-friendly sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50, and preferably waterproof capabilities.

Sunscreen should be applied around half an hour before going into the sun and just before going out, and it will need to be reapplied every two hours. You may need to apply more often if your little one is getting in and out of water.


Signs Of Overheating


There are some signs of heat exhaustion that you can keep an eye out for.

You may notice:

  • Increased sweating
  • Your little one may be extremely thirsty
  • Your little one may seem very tired or weak
  • Cool and clammy skin that appears pale
  • Vomiting
  • Fast breathing or heartbeat
  • Irritability and high temperature


If you feel that your little one is showing signs of overheating or heat exhaustion, take them to a cooler place and remove their clothing. You can sponge them down with cool, lukewarm water. Give small sips of water if they are older than 6 months. Call your doctor for advice and guidance or call your local hospital or emergency services if symptoms worsen.


Preventing Dehydration


One of the most important things you need to do during the hot months is prevent your little one from becoming dehydrated. Offering and encouraging sips of water throughout the day can help. However, if you think your little one isn’t getting enough water, you may want to speak to your doctor about offering a rehydration drink instead of plain water if they are older than 6 months.

A simple way to tell if your little one is dehydrated is to track how many wet nappies they have. Not having many wet nappies means that you should increase the amount of fluids given.

You’ll also need to look out for other signs such as a dry mouth, lack of energy and crying with little tears. If you are concerned about signs of dehydration, call your doctor for advice.


In A Hot Car


The first thing to remember about car travel with your toddler in hot weather is that they should never be left alone in the car, even for a few minutes. Even moderate temperatures can quickly turn a car into a baking oven. If you’re getting out of the car, then your little one needs to get out of the car as well.