It is summertime in central Texas and that means it is HOT. Read on to learn some of Austin Baby’s Guru’s top tips for summer safety.

First, how do we keep our kiddos safe and comfortable?

Keeping kids hydrated is important. With babies, this means lots of nursing! Did you know that breastmilk is about 88% water?

Even with formula-fed babies, the AAP recommends no water or juice for infants under six months. For older kids, have them pick out a favorite water bottle and keep it full and with them all the time.

We love the ThinkBaby series and Camelbak, as well as the insulated Kleen Kanteen and Contigo bottles.

image from thinkbaby

Heat rash is also common, especially with young children. It is generally harmless and goes away pretty quickly, but it can be distressing to parents. The best treatment for it is just to keep it dry (a talc-free baby powder can help) and keep your kiddo out of direct sun and high heat.

Some great ways to help keep kids cool are to use a battery-operated fan on the stroller such as these, and the Noggle to improve A/C circulation in the car.

When playing outside, be careful not to let kids burn. Infants under 6 months are not supposed to wear sunscreen, instead choose lightweight clothing that covers them, protecting them from the sun.

An umbrella or toddler tent can be a safer spot to play outside.

When you feel you must use sunscreen and for older kids, a couple of good ones to use are ThinkBaby Sport & Blue Lizard brand. Both of these brands have low EWG ratings, meaning they’re free of most toxins. Kids can also be dress in rash guard shirts/suits that have an SPF built in.

I often recommend infant swim classes for families that have a pool or spend a lot of time at the lake. These classes teach infants starting at about 6 months how to roll and float if they fall into the water.

Of course, true swim lessons are a wonderful idea for older kids. Even if your child knows how to swim, drowning happens fast and is often silent, so supervision is very important.

Another issue outside in our area is the BUGS. We often deal with mosquitos! If you hike or spend time in more wooded areas there is the threat of ticks as well.

Bug repellants often contain DEET. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) says, “DEET’s safety profile is better than many people assume. It has a long history of use, is very effective in reducing bites and has minimal safety concerns. DEET isn’t a perfect choice, nor the only choice”.

Another option is to use a plant-based spray such as Buzz Away or Badger. You can even try out making your own.

Some useful essential oils to add in a spray bottle are lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus, tea tree, and cedarwood (although some people have a sensitivity to this, so try out some on a small area of skin before applying all over). You can find some great recipes for homemade bug-off spray online.

Hopefully, these summer safety tips will allow you and your little one to be more comfortable in the Texas Summer!