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Today is a really hot and sunny day in my hometown, so I thought I would share some ideas about how to keep cool, healthy and safe on a hot day! This information is not intended in any way, to replace the advice of your Maternal and Child Health Nurse, GP or primary health care practitioner! If you are unsure, call Nurse on Call (1300 606 024), Parentline - (13 22 89) or the Maternal and Child Health Line (13 22 29) for more specific advice!
While I mention these numbers, if you haven't already, store them in your mobile phone and always make sure you have your child health record with you incase you encounter poor mobile reception or mobile battery becomes flat! Always better to be safe than sorry!
Keep yourselves sheltered from the sun as much as possible - you can even get sunnies for babies these days, pop on a hat and protective sun gear like rashes or thick shirts. Lather exposed skin in zinc to block out the sun and regularly apply protective sunscreen according to the instructions on the container. When I was a kid, we didn't have such a strong need for sun protection. It was pretty common to bathe in baby oil or coconut oil! Not that I did any of that, but I did use sunscreen and yeah, I got sunstroke as a kid, and there is nothing worse than feeling that sick!
Ensure you all remain well hydrated by drinking lots of water You can even and try some healthy icy poles made with diluted fruit juice. You don't need the fancy popsicle maker - line a disposable cup with glad wrap so its hanging over the sides of the rim of the cup, fill with diluted juice, freeze and remember to stick in your wooden popstick before it is frozen solid. When ready, simply pull out the popsicle by the pulling on the glad wrap and enjoy your popsicle which will take shape of the cup! You can even try cutting orange halves and bunches of grapes and freezing them and munching on those (by the way, its not a good idea to try frozen grapes with kids under 5 as they may choke, just like feeding them nuts and lollies!). Don't forget to have some fun by having a swim or running over the sprinkler while the garden gets watered! Just remember to watch out for each other when it comes to water safety - it doesn't take much water for a small child to drown and we all know how quick toddlers are at running off. I personally consider myself a good swimmer, and I have almost fatally drowned when caught in a rip - trust me, it wasn't fun! So have fun, but be on the lookout for each other, so you can all stay safe!
When it comes to infants under the age of 6 months, it is really important to ensure that they are well hydrated. Hydration in little babies is really important, more so than food in hot weather. They will often fuss and want to feed more frequently to quench their thirst. There is no need to give baby extra water. This is because breastmilk contains 88% water and infant formula has the right amount of water your baby needs when you make it up. By adding extra water to breastmilk and formula, you could be compromising your baby's immature tummy and kidneys as they are not designed to cope with anything other than breastmilk or infant formula.
As I mentioned, these are just a few ideas. If any of you awesome mums have other tips to share, please comment below! :-)
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Kellie Eason RN, RM, IBCLC
Nurse, Midwife, IBCLC, Infant Feeding Therapist, Birth & Parenting Educator, Baby Sleep & Settling Consultant