Using Sunscreen for Babies
As a parent, you want to keep your baby safe in the sun, but when is the right time to start using sunscreen on your infant? With such new skin, it’s vital you take every measure to keep your baby’s skin protected so they can have happy and healthy skin throughout their lives.
The Right Age for Sunscreen
Dermatologists agree you should not expose a baby less than six (6) months old to direct sunlight, and exposure at peak hours between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM should be avoided. When out in the sun, keep babies under cover such as a tree, awning or umbrella to ensure their skin stays protected.
If you have to take your baby out in the sun when he or she is less than six (6) months old, your baby should be covered up in light, breathable sun protective clothing. This includes hats and, if possible, sunglasses with a 90% or better UV protection rating. Any exposed areas of skin – especially the face and backs of the hands – should be protected with sunscreen that’s safe to use on babies.
Once your baby is older than six (6) months old, you can start to be a little more liberal about taking them out in the sun, but you should still limit exposure and avoid peak hours. Always make sure your baby’s skin is covered and/or protected with sunscreen.
What’s the Safest Sunscreen for Babies?
Babies are so new to the world that it’s hard to tell sometimes what will affect them and what won’t. To give yourself more peace of mind, it’s always better to err on the side of caution as you choose a sunscreen to use on your baby. For this reason, you should get a baby-formulated sunscreen that doesn’t use any harsh ingredients or synthetic reagents. Choose a chemical-free, natural sunscreen made of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for better peace of mind and to possibly avoid a bad reaction to any added chemicals.
When you first apply a new sunscreen to your baby’s skin, make sure to keep a close eye to ensure he or she doesn’t have an allergic reaction. If you see a rash forming or some other indication he or she may be having a reaction, consult a doctor immediately. (For this reason, you may want to test a new sunscreen close to home.)