Posts Tagged ‘sun safety’

Sun Safety for Babies

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Babies love being outdoors, and it’s great for them. Being outdoors can help regulate their circadian rhythms, boots vitamin D levels, and can even help you avoid illness since UV rays kill bacteria. However, you have to be much more careful with their delicate skin than you do with your own. How can you make sure baby gets lots of natural vitamin D without getting sun damage?

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests sun avoidance for babies under 6 months old. This is partly due to the unknown safety of sunscreen on babies this age and also their immobility.  It is easy to keep this age baby in the shade. You can also put your baby in a brimmed hat and protective clothing. For older babies and children, The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests a comprehensive sun protection approach, which includes avoiding peak sun exposure, wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen.

Sun Safety for Babies

Avoid Peak Sun Exposure

Avoiding peak exposure basically means keeping your kids out of the sun during the middle of the day. We usually try to get outside early in the morning and after lunch and naps. This type of schedule helps us avoid peak sun time.  Middle of the day activities could be inside play at home or a trip to the library.

Wear Protective Clothing

Wearing protective clothing can be a little more challenging if it is hot outside, but it can be done.  We try to wear lightweight long-sleeved clothing, brimmed hats and sunglasses. Our kids love sunglasses; they love to be like mom and dad and look and feel fashionable. If we are going to the pool during peak sun hours, I also make sure my kids wear rash-guard swimsuits to cover up more skin.

Use Sunscreen

I will be totally honest with you: I hate sunscreen! I have hated it my entire life. I think it is the feel or smell of it.  If we are out in peak sun or out for a long time, I try to get sunscreen on my kids. I like Californial Baby Super Sensitive SPF 30+. This is good for sensitive skin and does not contain any chemicals. Another even more natural option is to make your own sunscreen; I have a few friends that do this. EWG is a great resource for finding safe products for children. Their rating systems spell out what exactly is in each product and why it’s harmful, and they come out with a new list of top picks each summer.

Warm days can be lots of fun, but make sure you take the necessary steps to make sun play fun and not end up with sunburns.

Kristen Beggs is a mom of two outdoor loving kids who tries to keep them safe in the sun.