Just because the official summer is coming to a close, sunscreen is still essential for the little ones during the early fall months. Children and babies have sensitive skin that should not be exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. It is important to take some precautions to keep your children safe.
- Dress your baby in sun protective clothing that blocks UVA and UVB rays from penetrating into the skin. This exposure can lead to skin cancer later in life. Therefore, it is important to cover as much skin as possible with lightweight long-sleeves and pants.
- Utilize a brimmed hat that shields your baby’s face and use the sunshade on a stroller whenever possible.
- Tiny sunglasses designed for babies can be helpful in preventing sun damage to their eyes.
- Babies under 6 months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. Find shade for them or keep them fully clothed if they will be exposed for short periods.
- For babies over 6 months, use sunscreen with physical blockers, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide instead of chemical-based sunscreen. Apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply often.
- Try to avoid the sun when it is the strongest, between 10am and 4pm. If you are outside during that time try to provide shade for your baby.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible, especially between 10am and 4pm.
- Use wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and UV protection swimwear, such as swim shirts, to lessen the risk of sunburn.
- Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater 30 minutes before going outdoors. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
- Be sure to use sunscreen and sun protection on cloudy days since the sun rays can come through clouds.
- Zinc oxide can provide an additional layer of protection to particularly sensitive areas such as the nose, cheeks, ears, and shoulders.
- Remember to apply sunscreen to hard to miss areas, such as the feet, hands, and backs of the knee.
Baby Care Basics: Baby Sun Safety
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