Protect Your Baby from Heat Exposure in the Car

July 11th, 2008

The hot sweltering months of summer are upon us.  We moms’ pull out the artillery and arm ourselves with air conditioning, sun screen, ice cream cones, slushies and more than a few trips to the pool.  When traveling by car, the heat can really take its toll.

With these important safety tips you can protect your baby or tot from heat exposure in the car.

1.  Use a stuffed animal toy as a visual reminder that your child is in the back seat.  Position the stuffed animal toy in the passenger seat or in a safe spot on the console.  Take the toy and put it in the empty car seat after taking your child out of the car.  When you put your child back into the car seat, switch it back to the front to remind yourself that your child is again in the back seat.

2.  Never ever leave your baby or tot in a parked car.  According to the NTSA “Cars parked in direct sunlight can reach internal temperatures up to 131 F- 172 F.”  The NTSA goes on to say that even at lower temperatures with the windows slightly rolled down, a car will still reach a high internal temperature in a matter of minutes.

3.  Cover the car seat.  Dr. John Chiles of Pueblo Pediatrics recommends that you protect your child from temperature absorbing car seat fabrics by covering an empty car seat with a white dishtowel or sheet.  Dr. Chiles also recommends that you position a frozen water bottle on the metal buckles of an empty car seat to protect your child from nasty metal buckle burns.

4.  Get tinted windows or use a sun shade.  Tinted windows can cut summer heat by up to 60%.  Check your local state laws regarding tinted windows on automobiles. A well designed sun shade will keep your baby comfortable and help prevent heat stroke.

5.  Keep plenty of drinking water and formula on hand when traveling. Dr. Chiles says that babies 4 to 6 months need an intake of 36 ounces of either formula or breast milk a day.  Newborns to six months do not need extra water.  If you are breast feeding, drink extra water so that you will have an adequate supply of milk to keep your baby hydrated.   He also recommends that babies and tots over six months have small 4oz servings of juice three times a day.   Pear, apple, and white grape juice are great for keeping kids hydrated.

More help to keep you and your child safe and cool through the hot summer months.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Summer Safety Tips for Children.

The CDC’s official guide on protecting yourself and your child from extreme heat.

Health and safety tips for your child from Dr. John Chiles of Pueblo Pediatrics.

By Debby Hoffer

Entry Filed under: Child Health,Parenting Tips

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