When is it Too Hot For My Baby Outside?

When Is It Too Hot For My Baby OutsideTemperatures climbed to 96 degrees today leading me to wonder: when is it too hot for my baby outside?

The heat wasn’t the only problem. Humidity was above 55 percent for most of the day. The combination of high heat and high humidity become increasingly dangerous for children and especially for young babies like my daughter.

Given my previous research [see Is It Too Hot For My Baby To Go Outdoors?] on the topic of babies and outdoor temperature I was especially concerned starting from 11am this morning when the thermostat climbed above 90 degrees.

According to the best chart on dangerous weather for children, today falls on the border between the “yellow” cation and “red” danger for all children. Given that my daughter is only 13-weeks old, today’s high heat and high humidity certainly warrant a “red” day for her.

Our apartment supposedly has air conditioning, but for the past few summers the fan has blown room temperature air on days that were especially hot. Since neither my wife nor I were home during the hottest times of the day in past years we didn’t worry too much about the spotty air conditioning system.

This year with Arya’s arrival we are extremely concerned about the air conditioning failing on a hot day like today. Just in case I’ve scouted out a half-dozen locations with air conditioning, public access, and room for my baby and her big stroller.

We didn’t want to skip lunchtime nursing and since we live across the street I figured the one minute walk outside would be fine. Just in case I put a floppy hat on my daughter and used a sun umbrella for the mini-commute.

Arya whined immediately when she felt the hot air hit her face. Using the infant carrier made things worse as she was already warm from my body heat. She was crying by the time we go to the street corner and she didn’t stop until we were fully in the air conditioned building across the street. Both baby and Daddy were sticky with sweat despite being outside for a grand total of 47 seconds.

I’m usually lax when it comes to public health warnings as regulators have every incentive to be over-conservative. However, with the Child Care Weather Watch chart, the guidelines look spot on.

Being outside for even five minutes would have been terrible. I have no doubt that being outside for 20 minutes would have been dangerous for my baby.

Given today’s experience with high temperatures and high humidity, I plan on skipping our daily walk anytime the heat index is in “yellow” during this summer.

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