Most experts do not recommend putting sunscreen on young infants. For babies younger than six months, it is important to follow these essential sun safety tips.
Most experts do not recommend putting sunscreen on babies younger than six months. When compared to older babies and children, younger infants have a higher surface area to body weight ratio, putting them at greater risk when exposed to the chemicals. Plus, infants have immature, sensitive skin that can easily break out in rashes.
For babies younger than six months, it is important to follow these essential sun safety tips:
- Avoid peak sunlight hours (typically between 10 a.m.-2 p.m.) to minimize exposure to harmful UV rays.
- Keep baby in the shade by using an umbrella, beach tent or shaded stroller.
- Dress baby in clothes that covers his/her skin and a brimmed hat. Tight weaves are the best. If baby’s clothing is sheer or see-through, it will not do a good job protecting the skin. Hats should have a wide brim to protect the face, ears, and neck.
- Since younger babies have not fully developed sweat glands, be sure to constantly monitor your infant for signs of overheating.
- Keep baby hydrated by offering breast milk or formula. Bring a cooler and follow safety instructions when storing liquids.
- Watch baby’s urine for signs of dehydration. If urine appears darker or less than usual, baby could be at risk for dehydration and should be moved to a cooler location.
- For additional sun safety tips for babies, follow these recommendations by the FDA.