Sun Protection for Babies and Children: 6 Things You Should Know
Babies and toddlers are at higher risk of sun damage because of their sensitive skin. We have put together a list of essentials to help provide your child with the best sun protection possible, before you next head out under the sun!
1. The Best Baby Sun Protection Tips Include Embracing the Shade
Young children need shade when they go out in the sun and out to the beach. That’s because young babies shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight. Physical barriers to the sun can often be the most effective for children.
For this reason, always make sure your child is wearing a wide brim hat and you are using a sunshade, beach umbrella or beach tent when at the beach and seek out shade from trees where possible.
If your child is willing to keep sunglasses on, encourage them to wear glasses to protect their eyes.
Additional Shade-Related Tips
If possible, try to keep your child away from direct sunlight when the sun is the most powerful. Depending on your location this period can be between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Also, for those moments when your child can’t be in the shade constantly, cover their skin with clothing that is loose. Sun-protective clothes made from special fabric designed to offer more skin protection such as swim shirts or rashies are always a safe option for young children.
Avoid draping a blanket on top of your child’s pram to shield them from the sun. This may cause overheating or even suffocation. Instead, allow your pram’s canopy to protect your baby.
2. Keep Your Child Hydrated
Babies and young children are often more susceptible to dehydration. Dehydration can lead to sunstroke, so its very important to keep your child hydrated regularly with water. Watch out for common signs of dehydration such as a lethargic or irritable child, sunken eyes and severe thirst.
3. Give Your Child Sunscreen to Ensure Their Sun Safety
Applying sunscreen is also important for your child’s sun protection.
What to Look for in Your Child’s Sunscreen
The sunscreen you use on your child should have a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30 or 50. Avoid sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or less.
Mineral sunscreens are always a good choice for young children. For instance, look for one whose active ingredient is zinc oxide or titanium oxide. This type of sunscreen is usually less irritating and gentler for skin that is sensitive. That’s because zinc oxide and titanium oxide are hypoallergenic ingredients that sit on top of your skin. They aren’t absorbed into the skin like the ingredients in chemical sunscreens.
In addition, try to stick to sunscreens designed especially for babies or sunscreen for kids and ones that are water resistant. Try to buy sunscreen that is labelled as “broad spectrum” as well. This means it will protect against both ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A rays. Always reapply sunscreen every few hours as directed.
Additional Sunscreen Wearing Tips
It is recommended to try out any new sunscreen on your child’s skin two days before you expect to be out in the sun. This will allow you to determine ahead of time if it will irritate your child’s skin. If it does cause an issue, speak with a health expert to find out what sunscreen brand they would recommend for sensitive skin.
Finally, applying sunscreen to your child year-round is essential, not just during the summer months. On cloudy days, the clouds will filter ultraviolet rays, but they won’t completely block them. For this reason, sunscreen should consistently be used to protect your child’s skin.
4. Provide Heat Rash Relief
If your child becomes too hot in the sun, they may develop heat rash. This condition looks like small red blisters. These blisters form as a result of sweat glands that are clogged and may be uncomfortable and itchy. To provide your child with the fast relief they need, move them to an area that is cooler. Then, remove layers in the area to further cool off their skin.
5. Assess Your Child’s Moles
Moles in infants are common and usually are harmless. However, if you see a mole develop, keep an eye on it. If you’re suspicious about the mark or any other marks, ask your doctor to examine them.
6. Treat your Child’s Sunburn
So, what happens if your child ends up getting sunburned despite your efforts to keep them protected against the sun?
Keep your child in the shade, and soothe you’re their skin using a damp, cool cloth or cold compress. You can also give your child a nice, cool bath. Avoid soap to avoid further irritating their skin.
How We Can Help
Understanding baby sun protection is critical for ensuring that your little one remains safe and happy when out in the sun. For further information about being SunSmart for your children, refer to the Cancer Council of Australia here, the leading authority on SunSmart advice and resources.
In addition to caring about your child’s skin, we at Nutura Organic care about their nutrition. That’s why we offer fresh milk from grass-fed, organic cows that will keep your child healthy and strong.
Contact us to learn more about our milk, and order today!
*This article is designed to provide general advice for parents and guardians. For specific health advice, please consult with your child’s healthcare practitioner.