Watch for overheating and other seasonal safety concerns.

Q: How can I make sure my newborn is comfortable, safe and getting enough sleep during hot summer weather?

A: Just like the rest of the year, in summer weather it is important to stick to a normal routine as much as possible, and that includes a sleep routine for an infant. If possible, babies should be allowed to nap inside on a firm, safe sleep surface. If you are allowing your baby to nap outside, make sure he is in a well-ventilated and shaded area to prevent overheating. Your baby should still nap on a firm sleep surface, regardless of location.

In case there isn’t a crib available that meets U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines, it’s a good idea to have something like a play yard on hand for safe sleep. During warm weather, watch for signs of overheating, such as sweating, flushed cheeks, rashes, rapid breathing and being extra fussy without needing a diaper change or food.

Although it may be challenging at times when the sun is hot and families want to be out in the nice weather, you should try to keep your baby from sleeping in car seats or strollers. If he does fall asleep while in a car seat or stroller, take him out as soon as possible and place him on a firm, safe sleep surface.

Always consult your child’s pediatrician concerning your child’s health.

For more pediatric health news parents can use, visit our blog: 700childrens.nationwidechildrens.org.

Jamie Macklin, M.D., is a pediatric hospitalist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

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