After a long winter, the sun is peeping out and warm days are here. Everyone is ready to get outdoors to enjoy the sun, but there are some things you need to consider before taking your baby out. Yes, the fresh air and sun is great for everyone, including your baby. However, babies skin is very delicate and can easily burn. That is why you have to take extra precaution to protect it. After all, your baby will have their skin all through life, so you want to make sure it’s healthy and receives the best care possible.
Here is a guide to help care for your baby’s skin.
Infants to 12 months old
Your baby’s skin is so delicate at this stage, and can easily burn. That is why you want to avoid any prolonged sun exposure. Direct sunlight on an infant’s skin can be dangerous. You want to always keep them shaded when outdoors, until they are at leas 6 months old. It’s best to discuss sunscreen options with your pediatrician ahead of time, so you know what your options are. You do not want to apply sunscreen regularly, but if you get into a situation where you cannot protect your baby from direct sunlight, then you want to have a sunscreen option.
When choosing to apply a sunscreen for the first time, apply a small amount to one area first. This will help you see if your baby’s skin is reacting to the sunscreen in a negative way. If there is no indication of irritation, then continue to apply a small amount to the face and hands. The rest of their body should be covered.
12 months and Older
The older your child gets, the more exposure they will get to the sun. It becomes harder to keep them from it when they become more independent and mobile. After 12 months old, you can safely apply a sunscreen 30 minutes before venturing outdoors, and then reapply every two hours after that. If you are swimming or in a situation where they sweat a lot, you will want to apply sunscreen more often.
Avoid the eye and mouth area when applying sun screen. You can use a chap stick that has sunscreen in it for their lips. You will want to choose a sunscreen that is waterproof, broad spectrum sunscreen that is made for children, and has at least an SPF 30.
More Than Sunscreen
You cannot be dependant on sunscreen alone. You also want to dress your child accordingly so that they are well protected. Use a hat that as a 3-inch brim or a bill that will protect their face. A long-sleeved shirt and pants that are tightly-woven cotton will give great protection for your little ones while in the sun. Ensure that you choose light colored clothing, as darker colors will hold heat in.
Make sure you are aware of how long your baby is being exposed to the sun, and find shade when possible. Do not go out during the hottest hours of the day. Try to play outdoors when the sun is not as high in the sky. Mornings and evenings are the best times to take your babies outdoors, as the suns rays are not as powerful.