Now that we’ve fully immersed in longer, hotter summer-like days with stronger rays, there’s a lot we need to consider as parents when we’re out and about with our kids—especially babies under six months of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends preventing harmful sun exposure by fully covering infants in lightweight clothing and hats that completely shade the neck and face. If heat is a huge factor and you don’t have or would prefer not to dress your baby in long pants and sleeves, you can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen.
According to the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” website the two safest sunscreens to use on babies are:
-California Baby No Fragrance Sunscreen SPF 30 (This comes in an easy-to-use stick perfect for baby faces and tends not to drip into eyes)
-Johnson and Johnson Baby Sunscreen SPF 40
Other recommended safe sunscreens include:
-CVS Baby Stick Sunscreen SPF 60+
-Walgreens Baby Pure
-Gentle Sunscreen 60+ SPF
**But no matter how “safe” the sunscreen you use on your baby is, be sure to bath your baby thoroughly after wearing sunscreen.
For all other children AND yourself here are a few tips to protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays:
Wear sun hats with a brim of at least three inches or a forward-facing bill
Protect your eyes with sunglasses that provide 97%-100% UVA and UVB protection
Wear generously covering breathable, cotton clothing with a tight weave
Stay in shade as much as you can, particularly between peak ray hours of 10am-4pm. If you’re headed to a sunny area, bring a sun tent or umbrella.
Always wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA/UVB protection. Use about an ounce each time you apply.
Always re-apply after swimming or sweating (don’t believe labels that claim “all day” or “8-hour” protection). If you’re out in the sun you need to re-apply every two hours. And parents—cover yourselves first! You may just forget if you don’t and you’re just as vulnerable to the sun’s harm as the kids!
Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days or when the sun isn’t visible, as you’ll still be exposed to rays, particularly if you’re boating or doing a water activity. (Source: AAP.org)