It’s great when your baby is old enough to go out to play. However, when we are out having fun it is easy to forget that the sun can cause harm to you and your family. It is a good idea to get into the practice of protecting your baby from the sun every day and not just in the summer months.
Children spend a lot of time outdoors and research shows that kids exposed to sun at an early age with frequent sunburns have an increased risk of developing cancer.
We must protect our babies as their skin is delicate, sensitive, and will burn easier than an adult’s skin. A baby does not know he/she is getting burnt and sunburns can be very painful and cause dehydration and fever. Here are some simple rules to protect your baby:
1. Keep babies under 6 months away from direct sunlight. Many doctors do not recommend babies under 6 months to use sunblock, as it can go into their eyes and mouths. Keep them covered inside a stroller or under an umbrella.
2. Try to cover your baby’s body so no skin is exposed. Baggy lightweight clothes are good with caps/hats with brims, that shade the face and cover the ears. Clothes with a tighter weave are better as the sun can still penetrate a lot of clothes.
3. Keep kids out of sun from 11am to 4pm when it’s at its strongest.
4. Apply sunscreen every 20 minutes.
5. Waterproof sunscreen is good when child is at the beach or pool.
6. Apply the sunscreen before putting on bathing suit.
7. Use the sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 at minimum.
8. Rub sunscreen in well. Sunscreen needs time to work, so put it on at least 30 minutes before going outside.
*By the age of 18 most children have already been exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays which cause sunburn and skin cancer