How To Keep Your Baby (Who Can't Use Sunscreen) Safe In The Sun
Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer type in the United States? A child or adolescent only needs to be , nearly doubling their chances of getting melanoma –the deadliest type of skin cancer– later in life. So, need to do everything possible to and teach them healthy sun care practices from an early age.
However, babies under six months aren't allowed to wear sunscreen because they have a delicate skin barrier susceptible to anything put on it- including sunblock ingredients. And when SPF isn't allowed, it can be a daunting, sweaty exercise in anxiety as you try to keep UV rays from making contact with your delicate infant's skin. So, what exactly can you do? How do you keep your under 6-month-old safe from sunburn if youCredit: Shutterstock
Since you cannot expose your baby to the chemicals in sunscreen, the recommends that you keep them out of direct sunlight altogether. But it is almost impossible to keep your baby out of the sun. So, your baby will need complete sun cover, meaning that you'll require a shade tent, an umbrella, or a baby floatie that comes with an overhead attachment.
However, these products cannot provide full UV protection, especially if you're using them close to or in water, and there is a reflection off the surface. Don't use these as the only protection measure.
To prevent sunburns, add sunglasses, a hat, a full-coverage rash guard or swimsuit, and minimal pool time. Also, always be by your kiddo's side in the water. And if they can't sit up in a pool float, dress them in a baby carrier, lightweight wrap, or ring sling made for water use.
It would be best to be cautious when using muslin blankets and stroller canopies since they only offer partial sun protection. The heat inside an enclosed stroller can increase within minutes on a hot summer day. So, if you're hanging a light blanket over the baby stroller or using a car seat cover, you shouldn't close your baby in fully. Make sure to put your hand inside constantly to check the temperature.
advises that you also place a damp cloth over your baby's bare feet to help keep her cool as you stroll. If you're concerned that they're getting too hot, you can cool them with a water-misting spray bottle. Besides, it's important to dress your baby in a rash guard even when they're not going for a swim. Rash guards have bathing suit fabric, meaning you can simply wet down your baby for increased temperature control.Credit: Shutterstock
According to , if you can't access shade or suitable clothing, it's fine to use a small volume of a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that contains at least 15 SPF on your babies under six months to small areas, including their face and the back of their hands. Make sure to use s since they have less likelihood of irritating your baby's sensitive skin.
Note that it takes half an hour to be effective. So, apply it before leaving the house. Also, keep reapplying sunscreen every two hours, or as soon after they leave the pool or after sweating, since there's no such thing as "waterproof" sunscreen.
Then again, the FDA advises against sunscreen for babes under six months. According to , if you're unsure which advice to follow, it's best to reach out to your pediatrician for their opinion.
You can keep in mind other things, including the fact that the sun is hottest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as stated by the . So, you can s, playground, or beach for maybe early morning or late afternoon. Also, note that an overcast day isn't a sign that you're safe. Always take caution, even on gloomy-looking days. And be extremely cautious around water, sand, snow, and concrete since UV rays usually bounce back on these surfaces, increasing the risk of sunburns.
According to , other than sun protection, make sure that your baby isn't getting overheated and that they take lots of fluids. If your infant starts to get fussy, cries excessively, and becomes red on exposed skin, then it's time to take her back indoors.
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