When the sun is shining brightly, you could say that it is definitely a good day. However, if you are going outside with your baby, having their baby clothes on will not protect them entirely from the harmful rays of the sun.
So, you’re thinking to yourself: “can I put some sunblock on my baby?” In this article, I will answer that and many more questions about sunscreens so that you will know better.
Why Sun Protection is Important?
Babies have naturally more sensitive skin than adults, says Dr. Debra Langlois, an assistant professor of Pediatrics. Too much exposure to the sun without adequate protection might give your baby sunburn and it can also mess with their internal system, given that they do not have proper regulatory mechanisms in place yet. If left unaided, it can lead to sunburns and even heat strokes (and in extreme cases, skin cancer).
According to Dr. Adena Rosenblatt, a pediatric dermatologist, too much exposure to the harmful rays of the sun may induce skin cancer in babies.
Even though this may all sound dire, there is actually one potent protection against the sun and that is a sunscreen or a sunblock.
When Can You Apply Sunscreen?
Now that you know the importance of sunscreen for your baby’s skin, you don’t go out there and apply it to them immediately! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, they suggest that you only put sunscreen to your kid if they are at least 6 months old.
Putting sunscreen on their skin if they are still too young may pose a threat, especially since their skin might react negatively to the chemicals that are found in your common sunblock. They might have an adverse reaction to it like Contact Dermatitis, for example.
Instead of heading out in direct sunlight, you may want to put your baby in a stroller instead. Furthermore, you do not want to go out at times where the sun is clearly shining- anywhere between 10 AM to 2 PM. You can go out when you see that the sun’s rays aren’t harmful enough.
If your kid is still below 6 months old, you can just clothe them with clothing that will cover most of their bodies like a long-sleeved shirt and cotton pants. If they are about 4-5 months old, you can dab a small sunscreen to a small part of their body and then try if they exhibit an allergic reaction.
If you see that their skin is okay and that there are no apparent negative reactions, you can just safely put a little bit of sunscreen in areas that are exposed to the sun.
Which Type of Sunscreen to Use?
There are two types of Sunscreens out there. One is the Physical sunscreen which is based on minerals that help reflect harmful UV light off of the skin. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, absorb the harmful rays so that it doesn’t enter the body.
According to Dr. Rosenblatt, you want to stick with physical sunscreens for your baby since it is the safest for your toddler. You should look for one that contains either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.