Keeping baby safe from the sun is crucial, as they quickly can suffer short and long term effect of sunburn. Sunburn causes pain, dehydration, and fever. Just one sunburn raises the risk of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
Baby should be kept completely out of the sun until 6 months of age. When you do take baby out doors take precautions.
The sun is strongest between 10am and 4pm, so outside play time is best before or after these peak sun times. Keep in mind that the sun’s rays can bounce off surfaces like water, snow, cement or sand.
Most of us are more aware of sunburn risks during summer months, and on sunny days. The sun’s ultra violet rays are what burns the skin, not the heat of the sun. UV rays can cause skin to burn on cloudy and cool days, all year round, even in winter months. Babies have more delicate, thinner skin that is especially vulnerable.
When you are going to be outside with baby;
- Keep baby in the shade. Use the sunshade on your stroller, consider buying a stroller shade canopy with UV protection to protect her entire body.
- Use a sun tent with UV protection for days at the beach or park.
- Dress baby in light-weight, light-colored clothing with a tight weave to protect his skin from the sun’s rays. (Dark colors absorb heat and the UV rays can burn skin through a loosely woven material) Some swimwear have a sun protectant built in. Although more expensive, an excellent investment for beach lovers.
- A hat is a necessity! Choose a wide brimmed hat that protects baby’s head, neck and ears.
- Sunglasses, though not always easy to get baby to wear will protect their eyes.
Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outside. *Sunscreen is not recommended on baby’s under 6 months old, talk to your pediatrician about when and what type of sunscreen they recommend.