Protect Your Baby from the Sun

A baby's skin is super-sensitive to the sun. It's best to avoid it.

By FamilyTime


With warm, sunny days comes the threat of sunburn. No one is more susceptible to the sun’s burning rays than your baby. His skin is extra sensitive and so you must take care that he is safe.

Best Protection
The best way to protect your little one is to keep her out of the sun. Obviously this is not always practical but if possible, avoid bright sunny places such as the beach, pool, or park between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is strongest. If you plan a day at the beach with older children, find a sitter and leave any child under the age of two at home.

When you take your baby outdoors for any length of time, dress him in lightweight clothing that covers his arms and legs. Put a wide-brimmed hat on his head and if he will tolerate them, UV-protection sunglasses.

Use a stroller awning or umbrella to protect the baby from sunlight.

If you take her to a pool, bring along a cover-up and hat for out-of-water times. Sit under a beach umbrella or awning to keep the tot out of direct sunlight.

Don't spend extended time outdoors.

The Sunscreen Debate
Many parents are not comfortable slathering sunscreen on their babies. Others feel the minor risk of a reaction to sunscreen outweighs the danger of sunburn.

Talk to your pediatrician before applying sunscreen to a young child or baby. If you decide to use sunscreen, make sure it is at least SPF 15 but not higher than SPF 30. Sunscreen labeled higher than SPF 30 is not worth it —these products have more chemicals and negligible increase in protection.

Using Sunscreen
If you decide to use sunscreen, do a patch test first. Rub a little on your baby’s back and wait for 30 to 60 minutes to see if she has a reaction.

When you use the product, use it sparingly on the baby. Rub it on the back of his neck, his chest, the tops of his feet and his hands. Watch that he does not rub his eyes.

Apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure to the sun.

Consider using a chemical-free product that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These products simply shield the skin and are not absorbed. Use just a little and apply to the nose, forehead, hands, and lips.

With a little care and restraint, you and your little one can enjoy limited time in the sunshine.