Sun safety 101

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Holidays, Health & Safety: Babies

Though it was only 48 degrees where I live yesterday, I've heard a rumor that it's finally heating up in other parts of the country. With a three day weekend on the way, that's good news! It's also a good time for a refresher course on sun safety, because the fastest way to ruin a great holiday weekend is with a bad sunburn. So here are some tips for keeping your little ones safe while they play in the sun this summer:

  • The suns rays are hottest from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. If at all possible, schedule outdoor time in the morning or late afternoon/evening.
  • When you can't avoid midday sun, keep kids under cover as much as possible. If it's not too hot, lightweight long sleeves and pants are an option, but when it's hot outside, consider bringing an umbrella or a pop up tent for instant shade.
  • Eyes need protection too. Look for a child-sized pair that offers 100% UV protection.

Sunscreen should be a daily part of your summer routine, unless your child is six months old or younger. Babies this young burn very easily, but they can't wear sunscreen, so parents need to be diligent about keeping them covered, yet cool. For older babies and children:

  • Apply sunscreen whenever you're going outside, preferably 30 minutes before you head out.
  • Don't forget ears, nose, lips, shoulders, back of the neck, and underneath bathing suit straps.
  • Reapply every 2-3 hours, more if your child is sweating or swimming.
  • Use waterproof sunscreens when your child will be in the water. Reapply when they come out.
Though sunscreen doesn't seem like an issue that would cause controversy, last year the Environmental Working Group came out with a huge database of common brands of sunscreens. Their concern is that many of the chemical ingredients in sunscreens may do a person more harm than good, health-wise. If this is an issue that concerns you, you can research recommendations right on their website.

Finally, if your child does get a sunburn, here's help in treating it and making them feel more comfortable.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.