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Baby, It's Hot Outside

Baby, It's Hot Outside

While the thought of summer arriving is exciting, it is also a time to think about safety for your little one. Overheating can be harmful to babies, potentially causing brain damage and sudden infant death syndrome. Below are some tips to keep babies from overheating in the summer and during sleep, signs that a baby is overheating, and what you should do if your baby gets too hot.

Signs And Risks Of Overheating

Are you out on a hot day and your baby is beginning to show signs of distress or discomfort? Use your hands to feel if your baby is getting hot. Sometimes, parents can mistake overheating for fever or dehydration. Pay close attention to your baby to see if they show these signs:

  • Feels warm to the touch
  • Looks flushed/Red
  • Has rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Dizzy and/or confused
  • Lethargic/Unresponsive
  • Fussy/Restless
  • Sweaty (Babies can overheat without sweating)

Your baby’s temperature can vary depending on various factors including time of day and the clothes they are wearing, and area where you take their temperature. Under the arm is 97.5 to 99.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Rectal is 100.2 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Babies have trouble regulating their body temperature. A reading of 100.4°F or above is considered a fever.

Health risks and concerns can come up if your baby is overheating. Risks of overheating can include loss of sleep, heat rash, heatstroke, dehydration, and SIDS.

How To Help If Your Baby Is Overheating

If your baby is showing signs that were listed above, then it is time to help relieve some of that heat. Here are some steps that can help cool your baby down:

  • Take your baby to a cooler room or a shady spot
  • Remove excess layers of clothing
  • Offer your baby more formula or breastfeed for hydration
  • Dab a cool sponge or damp cloth on your baby

How To Keep Your Baby From Overheating

Be sure to keep your baby’s room at the ideal temperature of 68° F to 72°F. According to the National Institute of Health, infants are at higher risk of SIDS during the winter months. While that may surprise you, that is when parents worry that their baby may get cold so they overdress and raise the heat in the home.

While the weather is warm, keep your baby out of direct sunlight, especially at the peak hours of the day, which are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you do not have air conditioning, take breaks from your home during times of high heat. Never leave your baby inside of your vehicle unattended. On a sunny 90° degree day, it can get to 109° degrees inside after 10 minutes and 124° after 30 minutes. Even on mild days, heat builds quickly inside cars and can lead to concerns beyond overheating, including heatstroke and even death.

In cold weather, dress your baby as you would dress yourself for the temperature of the room. At most, add only one more layer or a blanket or swaddle to keep your baby warm. Be sure to remove layers, including coats, while in the car. These layers are likely to cause overheating. In the cold winter temperatures, fit your baby with a jumper and fleece, or a thin jacket. Extra blankets inside the crib should be removed. These not only can contribute to overheating, but they also post a suffocation risk.

If you have questions or concerns about overheating in your baby, speak to your baby’s provider for guidance on what is right for your child. If you do not have a provider, feel free to go to our Find a Provider page. If you need help finding the right provider for you, use our Help Me Find a Provider Form or call our Find a Provider line at (812) 885-8500.