If you’ve been watching the national weather forecast, you’ve noticed that there’s been no shortage of severe weather lately. From heat waves to thunderstorms… there’s a lot to prepare for. For adults, we have the luxury of prepping for these events both emotionally and with supplies. When it comes to your infant, you’ll have to be ready for them. What are some tips on keeping your family safe and prepared for severe weather incidents? Let’s break it down!
Staying safe in a power outage…
In today’s world, power is so important for so many of our daily functions. Without it, we may not have internet, heating, or the ability to use necessities. Especially with an infant, being prepared for potential power outages is critical. There are a few general items to make sure you have on hand in case of a power outage. Backup lighting is a big thing. Whether you need to change a diaper or find your pump, having flashlights and extra batteries is very important. In addition to batteries, backup chargers will be a lifesaver. If your cell phone loses battery, you may not be able to contact people in case of an emergency. A few other items you may want are shelf stable snacks and extra blankets.
Breastfeeding during a power outage is no easy task either. Having a backup hand pump is super helpful. In addition, a lot of power reliant pumps have car adapters so you can pump there! When you’re finished pumping, storing the milk immediately in the fridge or freezer will help it stay longer. If the power is out for a long time, the fridge and freezer will not be as helpful however. To try and keep the milk frozen for as long as possible, avoid opening the freezer unnecessarily. You can also use a cooler with ice from the grocery store or even dry ice if you have access to it.
Temperature extremes, protecting against high and low temperatures …
Being either too hot or too cold can be dangerous, especially for young children. What are some things you can do to prevent overheating? Regularly keep tabs on their comfort level to make sure their temperature is properly regulated. Making sure they have enough to drink is especially important because excess sweating can lead to dehydration. To avoid this sweating, make sure they’re dressed in light clothing, and that air is circulating throughout the room. Using a cool, damp cloth to lower their temperature may also be useful.1
When it comes to protecting from cold weather, most of the time staying inside is the best option. If you’re going outside, it’s good to know that when the temperature is below -15 F it’s unsafe for babies.2 Their skin could quickly freeze at this temperature. When you’re outside with your baby in the cold, make sure to dress for the occasion! Layers are important to avoid overheating. If you find your baby is too hot, you can remove a layer to try and cool them down a little. It’s also very important to keep your infant dry when the temperature is low. This helps to avoid frostbite.
What about the more rare events…
There are many different severe weather conditions across the world and they’re not applicable to all of us. For more specific information about severe weather in your area, click here to see what the CDC recommends. However, there are a few tips and tricks recommended for keeping you and your kids safe. One of the most important things to do is plan ahead. Learn about the typical natural disaster and severe weather events in your area, and plan accordingly. Make sure to include plans for feeding your kids and keeping them warm. In addition, having emergency supplies that will keep your family safe for up to a few days is very important in case you can’t leave the house. Being prepared will help you feel calm and confident in case these events ever occur!
- The Royal Women’s Hospital. (n.d.). Heatwave precautions for babies & young children. The Royal Women’s Hospital. https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/at-home-with-your-baby/heatwave-precautions-for-babies-young-children.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, February 4). Winter Weather|CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, January 6). Children In Disasters Severe Weather Emergencies. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/severe-weather-emergencies.html.