Sun Protection Guidelines for Babies and Toddlers
As a parent, you need to be especially vigilant about protecting your child from sun exposure. Babies under six months old require special care because their skin is too sensitive for sunscreen. So keep your baby out of the sun, and take extra precautions when you’re outside. Use removable mesh window shields in your car to keep direct sunlight from coming in through the windows. Walk your baby in his or her stroller before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., and use a stroller with a sun-protective cover. Choose lightweight clothing that covers your baby’s arms and legs and a wide-brimmed hat or bonnet to protect his or her face, neck and ears.
When your baby is six months or older, you may begin using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Thirty minutes before going outside, apply sunscreen to any areas of your baby’s skin that aren’t covered by clothing, such as his or her hands. And remember to reapply it every two hours.
Like babies, toddlers also require special care to protect them from the sun. Make sure your toddler plays in a shaded area, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Choose long-sleeved, unbleached cotton clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. When selecting sunscreen, try a spray-on formula with SPF 15 or higher—a good choice for toddlers who have difficulty sitting still.
Children learn by example, and as a parent, you’re their best role model. So make sure you protect your children, and teach them about sun safety at an early age. If you make sun protection a priority, so will your children.