Baby Skin Sun Protection
Healthy baby skin care habits begin early. By taking steps now to protect your baby's delicate skin from the sun's harmful rays, he can enjoy a lifetime of healthy skin.
Newborn Sun Safety: Sun Protection for Babies Under 6 Months
Babies under 6 months should not spend any time in the direct sun. Because your baby's own photo-protection is still underdeveloped, sunburn can occur despite your best sun blocking efforts—and it may take only 10 to 15 minutes for his skin to burn!
Most pediatricians recommend that sunscreen products not be used on babies under 6 months of age, which means you'll need other methods of protection. When taking your baby outdoors:
- Stay indoors between 10 am and 2 pm. Try to keep your baby indoor during the hottest part of the day and and make sure your baby do not get dehydrated. I case your baby is crying after exposure to sun, take your baby indoors immediately
- Use a hat. Make sure your baby wears a hat with a wide brim
- Dress up your baby in loose and sun protective clothing. You can help protect the rest of your baby's skin by dressing him/her up in full sleeved clothes.
- Keep your baby under a shade. Create a shade by your own, with an awning or a light blanket or by means of an umbrella. Shade is the best way to prevent your baby from sun exposure especially when he/she is under 6 months.
Even on cloudy days or while riding in the car, always use a sunscreen specially developed for babies. If your baby is younger than 6 months of age, discuss the use of sunscreens with your pediatrician.
Should Older Babies Avoid Sun Exposure?
Even older babies (and children) should avoid exposure to direct sun for any extended period. They should always wear protective clothing and sunglasses. Check with your pediatrician about using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 30) that's formulated just for babies.
Smoothing on sunscreen is a multisensory experience that means much more for your little one, as his sense of smell and touch are both stimulated. Pleasant smells, when paired with your loving touch, can help shape your baby’s developing brain and create lasting sunny memories your child will remember for a lifetime.
As your child grows and matures far past babyhood, continue to ensure that his skin is carefully protected from the sun. By establishing healthy habits, you can provide nurturing baby care for now, and years to come.