(Photo courtesy of @carlygulinomay)
Sun Protection Tips for Babies
While sunburns at any age can be painful and lead to skin issues later down the road, it’s babies that are the most susceptible to damage from the sun. If infants are too exposed to the sun and develop a sunburn, you could be talking about blisters, a fever and in some cases a trip to urgent care. Not fun for anyone! Keep your baby sun-safe this summer with these pro tips on sun protection for kids.
(Photo courtesy of @thehouseofkelly)
Find Shelter and Shade for Baby
Summer is the perfect time to become an early riser. Those early morning hours—before 10 AM—are the best time to take a stroll with your little one. Or you can wait until later in the afternoon. Avoid the sun’s peak hours between 10 AM and 4 PM, which is when the ultraviolet radiation is most intense and the most damaging. If you have to be outside with your little one during those hours, seek shade! Find the nearest trees, gazebo, awning or covered pavilions or make sure you have a sun umbrella or a sun shade to cover the stroller—and yourself! If you’re at the beach, create a little hideaway under the shade. Many parents love to use their DockATots in the shade, so their baby can rest and nap in comfort.
(Photo courtesy of @sunsetblonde)
Dress Your Baby for Sun Safety
Since sunscreen is only recommended for babies ages 6 months and above, due in part to the fact that an infant’s skin can be super sensitive to the chemicals found in some sunscreens, the best way to protect your baby from the sun is by dressing them in sun protective clothing. Make sure you have plenty of long-sleeved shirts or gowns to cover their arms. You’ll also want to be sure the fabric is lightweight and breathable, so they don’t overheat. Also, make sure to cover those often overlooked areas on baby, including the delicate scalp, eye and neck with UV-blocking sunglasses and brimmed sun hats—the brims should ideally be 4” around or greater to provide the most protection.
(Photo courtesy of @cyrodiila)
The Best Sunscreen Formula for Babies
When your baby hits the 6 month mark, you can start applying sunscreen onto their skin. Find mineral-based formulations, which contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Both of these ingredients are physical sun blocks that do not get absorbed into the skin and therefore have less of a chance to get absorbed into the bloodstream or cause an allergic reaction. Make sure to reapply the sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or profuse sweating. Also make sure the sunblock is higher than SPF 50 and says “broad-spectrum” sun protection, meaning it will protect from both UVA and UVB rays.
Keep in mind that sun damage is cumulative over a lifetime, with much of the damage coming from sun exposure during childhood. In other words, the more sun damage your little one receives has a child, the greater their risk becomes of developing skin cancer later on in life. Translation: It’s super important to set down the rules and incorporate sun safe behavior early on their lives.