Babies have very sensitive skin and can become sunburned easily. The short term effects are pain, fever and dehydration, while the long term effects can be a higher risk of cancer as well as wrinkles later in life. It is so important to protect your baby from the sun as much as you can.
Infant skin (0 to 6 months) is too sensitive for sunscreen, so instead make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight by always keeping them shaded. Wide brim hats are a great option and they’re cute too! You can keep the sun protective cover on your stroller or car seat up, after all that’s what it’s there for. And lightweight clothing that covers your baby’s arms and legs are protective and cool and the same time.
At 6 to 12 months it becomes safe to apply sunscreen on your baby however that shouldn’t be the only thing you do to keep your baby from getting a painful sunburn. Keeping your baby shaded is still a good idea. When applying sunscreen make sure to cover any unprotected areas of your baby’s skin such as hands, feet and face. Be careful not to get sunscreen in your baby’s eyes, especially if you are using a spray. Sprays should never be applied directly to baby’s face; they should be misted into your hands and then spread on your baby’s face.
Once your baby becomes a toddler it can be more difficult to protect them from the sun. They can now crawl and walk on there own and you can no longer keep them shaded all of the time. It is very important to keep sunscreen on your child when he or she might be in the sun, even if it is for a short time. Keeping your child out of the sun between 10am and 4pm will help as well because this is the hottest and sunniest time of the day.
By planning ahead just a little and making sure your baby has what he or she needs to be protected from the sun at every age you can keep your baby’s skin soft, smooth, and pain free.
Any specific questions can and should be directed to your dermatologist.