Everyone’s skin is vulnerable to sun damage, but babies are especially at risk. This is why it’s crucial to ensure you do everything to protect your baby from the sun. Doing things like applying sunscreen, looking at bestorparents for the best car sun shades to buy, keeping them cool, etc. are all important to the health of your child. Harmful UV rays still come through even on cloudy days. Water, sand, metal, glass, and even concrete can reflect or intensify these UV rays. Vigilance is necessary when you leave the house with baby in tow. Even now, when Floridians are doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home, your baby may still face overexposure to the sun right in your own backyard or on the patio. Here’s how to keep your baby safe in the sun.
Say No Way to Midday
The best way to keep a baby safe from the sun is not to go out in it in the first place. But if the inhabitants of your household are getting punchy from self-isolation, a little fresh air in the backyard or out on the patio may be in order. Try to limit outdoor time with your baby to early morning (before 10 a.m.) or late afternoon (after 4 p.m.), when the sun is less intense.
Dress the Baby Protectively
Every trip outside-even just to the back patio-requires a hat. Completely cover your baby’s legs and arms in light-colored clothing with a weave that light can’t easily penetrate but that’s breathable enough to ensure the baby doesn’t overheat. Stay in the shade, even in the early morning or late afternoon hours. Strollers and car seat covers can also provide some shade. Baby sunglasses are cute, if the baby will keep them on-if you’re going to use these, make sure they block UV rays. Otherwise, they’re just a fashion statement.
Use Appropriate Sunscreens
Consult your pediatrician about what types they recommend as safe and effective for babies. Using sunscreen on babies less than six months old is generally discouraged. The better course is to just keep your baby out of the sun. After six months, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF that does not contain oxybenzone. Sunscreen should protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Never use sunscreen as a reason to stay out in the sun for a longer period of time.