Today I have invited a college friend to share her story on the blog, because I believe any of us mommas could have this happen to our babies. Since it’s really starting to heat up now, we all need to be made aware of the dangers of infant overheating. After hearing about this, I am making sure to buy a baby fan before we head to the lake or pool next time. Please read Jamie Grace’s story below and SHARE on Facebook so that other mommas can be made aware as well. I so appreciate you helping to spread this and thank you, Jamie Grace, for sharing!
We went to the pool today and Maggie overheated. I feel compelled to share my epic mom fail in hopes that other mommas of little littles will be more aware.
We got to the pool at 10:30 am got the two bigs all sun screened, puddle jumpered and water toyed up and they scamper off and begin to play–I snap this picture. Maggie (12 weeks) was in the stroller, I had tucked her away in the shade with a baby fan blowing on her. She had on thin cotton bloomers and a thin cotton sleeveless top. While the kids are playing, I get Maggie out of the stroller and feed her. She doesn’t eat much, but it’s hot and I don’t blame her! She starts to get sleepy, so I lay her down in the stroller with the fan on in the shade and she falls asleep.
Our friends arrive and we all decide to get in the big pool which was 20ish feet from under the umbrella by the baby pool where Maggie was. I opt to leave her in the shade and go and check on her every few minutes while we were in the big pool. I go back and forth checking on her 5 or 6 times. She is sound asleep but I didn’t like being that far away from her! I probably could have heard her cry from where we were and my eyes were on her the whole time but still it stressed me out. So I hop out of the pool and wheel her over closer to the pool where I can see her little feet. I position the stroller and put a thin muslin blanket over the stroller so no sun is on her, and hop back in the pool. I feel better but still check on her every little bit but I NEVER TOUCHED HER!!!
Now it’s time for lunch so we get the kids out of the pool and I stroll Maggie back over to the shade to hang with us. By then, I noticed her baby fan had died (Ugh, I had just put new batteries in!) and she is still sound asleep so I don’t touch her. Kids eat and play a bit longer. By this time it’s 12:45 and time to head home for naps.
I loaded everybody up and noticed when I picked up Maggie to put her in the car seat she was sweating a ton and super-duper hot to the touch. She is breathing a little quickly and didn’t arouse when I buckled her in. She normally freaks when I put her in the car seat (awake or asleep) but I think for a split second is she overheated? I quickly dismiss the thought — I mean she wasn’t screaming, crying or throwing up and She had been up 3x the night before so I think she is just tired from partying all night long (I sure was!!) I blast the AC and start for home. Halfway home it starts to really bother me that she had not moved or made any little baby noise, I reach back and jiggle the car seat. She doesn’t respond. I start to panic. We were almost home but I pull into the CVS parking lot, throw open the car door and start to mess with her feet and face. Omg, she is really hot and not moving or responding to me, she is breathing but why won’t she open her eyes!!!! I tell myself again to chill out. She is just asleep but no, she should awake when I poke and rub her!!!
I rush home, strip her down, and start throwing cold washcloths on her. FINALLY, she starts moving! After about a minute (felt like a lifetime) she starts to open her eyes and about a minute later she starts to cry! Sweetest sound ever. I shove a bottle in her mouth and she chugs 6 oz!!! Her body is still very warm but she was ok!!!! By the end of the feed she was back to normal temperature and smiling at me! Of course during the feed, I go to “what if?” land and start crying thinking of everything that could have been so different and how grateful I was that my sweet baby girl was ok!!!
If I could drive home any fact for other moms, it would be that if infant overheating happened to me it could happen to anybody! My girlfriend and I were constantly checking on her and neither one of us saw any obvious red flags of infant overheating! We both thought she was just having a good morning nap after the long night we had had!!! I wanted to pass along some things I learned from my infant overheating experience in hopes I can help mommas just like me! So here goes the best tips you can use to avoid infant overheating:
1. TOUCH! Always touch the infant when you are checking on them every few minutes. Touch their legs, belly, arms, and head making sure they are not abnormally warm or profusely sweating. If they have fallen asleep, mess with their feet, jiggle their arm, and/or rub their belly every few minutes. Do they rouse easily? Also, listen to their breathing. Is it fast or at a normal pace?
2. Ensure AIRFLOW around the infant is optimal! DO NOT pull down the canopy on the stroller–it prevents airflow and DOES NOT count as an adequate form of shade. DO NOT drape anything over where they are. Now I know even the light breathable muslin blanket that I draped over the stroller prohibited optional airflow causing hot air to get trapped in with Maggie. If the outdoor space you are in allows, move them to a towel to help provide more airflow.
3. SHADE and HYDRATE! Pick the infant up and offer a bottle or breast every hour even if you have to wake them to keep them hydrated (sorry schedule lovers). Keep the stroller in the shade. I know this sounds obvious, but when I rolled her from under the umbrella to closer to me on the pool deck I had angled the stroller so no sun was on her. I thought the stroller canopy was adequate shade but there was nothing blocking the stroller from the sun and the canopy was absorbing the heat making Maggie’s stroller a hot box!!!
4. COOL! Infants can overheat very easily and are not good at regulating body temps yet so you have to do it for them; especially in this summer heat. So, pack a lunchbox with a few cold bottled waters and a washcloth. Or, I just went out and bought one of those sport cooling towels. Every 15/20 min put new cold water on the washcloth or cooling towel and rub baby’s legs, tummy and head and then put a baby fan directly on them to help them keep their temp down.
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That’s all for now ladies! Do you know any new moms you should share this with? Please do so!
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