Hi everyone! We are in the middle of a big heat wave, which means it's a great time to review sun safety tips.
Let's talk about children under 6 months first. In general, babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of the sun as much as possible. Cover their carseat or stroller with a light blanket, find a tree or umbrella, or stay inside. If your baby will be in the sun, cover as much of their skin in lightweight, loose clothing as possible. Sunscreen can be used on babies on small exposed parts of their bodies.
Now, let's talk about sunscreen. My favorites for babies and children of all ages are: Blue Lizard (ask for samples at our office), Vanicream Sensitive Skin, Neutrogena Sensitive Skin, Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby, Aveeno Natural Protection SPF. All children should wear at least SPF 30. All exposed parts of the body, especially the face, nose, ears, feet, hands, should be covered. Put on 15-30 minutes before going outdoors or swimming so that it may absorb. Reapply every 90 minutes or 2 hours and after swimming or sweating. Remember to use sunscreen even on cloudy days.
In general, dress your children in cool clothes that cover the body. Select clothes made with a tight weave; they protect better than clothes with a looser weave. If you're not sure how tight a fabric's weave is, hold it up to see how much light shines through. The less light, the better. You can look for protective clothing labeled with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). Limit sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when UV rays are strongest. Look for child-sized sunglasses with UV protection for your child.
In the event that your child does get a sunburn, use Tylenol or Motrin (See our FAQ for dosing) to soothe the pain. You may also rub allow or lotion on and place your child in a lukewarm bath. Give your child water or juice to replace lost fluids. No more sun until the skin is completely healed. Please CALL SPG for any sunburn on a child less than 1 year of age.
See https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Sun-Safety.aspx for more information.
Dr. Sarah Moor