Sun Safety Tips for Babies
We try to do everything in our power to keep our little ones safe, but it's easy to forget to take precautions against one of the most common risks - the sun! During this extra sunny time of year when many of us are hitting the pool, the beach, the park, and local festivities, it's important to take extra precautions to keep our babes' delicate skin safe from harmful rays that can put them at risk for cancer later in life. Here are some sun safety tips for babies to keep your little ones comfortable and protected this summer.
Shielding is the first line of defense
Because baby's skin is so sensitive and vulnerable in the first 6 months of life, it's better to shield little ones from the sun rather than using sunscreen. Try to stick to shady spots with tree overhangs or umbrellas, and use the sun shield on the stroller. In hot weather, it's tempting to keep your babe in minimal clothing, but be sure to dress your baby in lightweight clothing that fully covers arms and legs, as well as a brimmed hat that protects them from the sun's harmful rays.
Don't forget the sunglasses
Yeah, baby sunglasses are basically the cutest thing ever - but they're also key to keeping your kiddo's eyes safe from UV rays. You can find lots of baby sunglasses with an elastic strap to keep them secure on baby's head (though let's be honest, you'll still be putting them back on a few times a day).
Lather on the SPF
After 6 months of age, broad spectrum sunscreen is an easy way to keep your little ones safe from the summer sun. Do you really need a special baby sunscreen? Not necessarily - just make sure you're choosing a sunscreen with at least 15 SPF and opt for a formula without the added fragrances and dyes. A few dermatologist-approved options are Neutrogena Free and Clear Baby or Babyganics Mineral Based Baby Sunscreen. Be sure to choose water-resistant if you'll be in the water or if your little one is sweating.
Don't forget to reapply
To give the sunscreen time to work properly, be sure to apply 30 minutes before heading outside. Most importantly, don't forget to reapply every 2 hours or more frequently if you're in the water. Spray-on sunscreen can be great if your busy toddler doesn't like to sit still for sunscreen application, but make sure you're applying it liberally and using your hands to apply to the face, ears, and other easy-to-miss spots.