Summer is heating up, and so is the sun! That means we have to be even more protective of our skin during these hot and sunny summer months.
Did you know? A baby’s skin is more delicate and thinner than an adult’s and burns and irritates more easily, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). That is why we have to be extra careful with our newborns and infants in the sun and warm temperatures!
Preventing harmful sun exposure for babies
Get tips from the AAP for keeping your baby safe in the sunshine.
Babies younger than 6 months:
- Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Find shade under a tree, umbrella or canopy. Try to avoid having your baby outside, even in the shade, for too long when the UV rays are the strongest – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
In addition to shade, for babies older than 6 months:
- When possible, dress your baby in cool clothing that covers the body, such as lightweight pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats.
- Get your baby a hat with a brim to shield the UV rays from their face.
- You and your baby should have sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection.
- Use sunscreen.
For babies younger than 6 months:
Use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face, if protective clothing and shade are not available.
For babies older than 6 months:
Apply to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes. It’s wise to try a sunscreen on a small area of skin first, to see if it irritates the skin, before putting it on a larger area. If the sunscreen irritates their skin, try a different brand of sunscreen. If a rash develops, talk with your child’s doctor.
If your baby is younger than 1 year old and gets sunburn, we recommend calling your baby’s doctor. This will ensure you know how to care for the skin and help it heal.
Sunscreen tips for all ages
- Use a sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum” on the label. This means it will screen out both UVB and UVA rays.
- Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
- Apply protection to the lips as well, with a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher.
- Apply sunscreen to exposed areas of the scalp, if your child won’t keep a hat on.
- Put sunscreen on 15-30 minutes before going outdoors.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours after an activity like swimming, or if your child is sweating while playing.
When it’s all said and sun we know families love to be outdoors with their babies of all ages. So, now you can enjoy the sunshine while also being safe!