Heat and Sun
Your toddler has sensitive skin that is easily damaged by the sun, even on cloudy or overcast days. Protect your toddler from sunburns to reduce the chance of skin cancer in the following ways:
Stay out of the sun and heat
- Keep children less than 12 months of age out of direct sunlight.
- Try to keep your toddler out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
- Never leave your toddler alone in a car.
- Do not let your toddler get overheated.
- Make sure your toddler has plenty of water to sip frequently in hot weather.
- Dress your toddler in loose clothing that offers protection from the sun.
- Make sure your toddler takes regular breaks from activity.
Dress for protection
- Dress your toddler in loose clothes that have a tight weave.
- Give your toddler a large‑brimmed hat with neck cover and no ties.
- Put sunglasses on your toddler.
- Choose water‑resistant sunscreens rated SPF 30 or higher and approved by the Canadian Dermatology Association. (Look for their logo or name on the label.)
- Apply about 15 ml (1 tbsp.) of sunscreen to all areas of skin that the sun will touch.
- Apply lip balm with sunscreen to the mouth area.
- Put on more sunscreen about every two hours if your toddler is out on sunny, cloudy, or overcast days without breaks spent indoors.
- Teach your toddler why using sunscreen is a good idea.
- Do not wait for signs of sunburn to get your toddler out of the sun. Sunburns do not usually show up for six to 24 hours.
The 4‑S Protection SystemSeek shade.
Slip on a shirt.
Slap on a hat.
Slop on the sunscreen.
Signs of heat exhaustion include fatigue, weakness, confusion, nausea, headache, muscle cramps, and pale skin that is cool and damp. If your toddler has these signs, bring him or her indoors or into the shade. Loosen or remove your toddler’s clothing, and give him or her a cool bath and a drink of water. If your toddler still shows signs of heat exhaustion or starts to vomit, call or see your doctor.
There are many fun activities to do with your toddler in the winter or during colder weather. Here are some tips on how to protect your toddler from the cold while playing outside:
- Provide a warm, water‑resistant coat. The sleeves should be snug at the wrist.
- Provide warm, slip‑proof footwear that is water resistant.
- Give your toddler mittens. Attach these to coat sleeves.
- Choose a warm hat that fits well and does not have ties.
- Dress your toddler in loose‑fitting layers that will go under the coat.
- Make sure your toddler is able to warm up every 30 minutes or so.
- Keep your toddler indoors when temperatures are below –25°C (–13°F), or if the wind chill is –28°C (–18°F) or more.
If your toddler needs to be out in very cold weather for any length of time, watch for signs of frostbite or skin injury from cold. Do this by checking for whiteness and numbness on her or his cheeks, nose, ears, fingers, and toes. If you think your toddler has frostbite:
- Bring your toddler indoors immediately.
- Remove wet clothing. Wet clothes take heat away from the body.
- Put the frostbitten body part(s) in warm water until feeling has returned. Make sure you test the temperature of the water yourself, because your toddler will not be able to feel heat or cold. Your toddler may cry from the stinging that will happen as the feeling returns.