HOW TO PROTECT MY BABY FROM THE SUN
Most of us enjoy those precious sunny and warm days in the UK. Days seem to last longer and we’re just happier sipping our cocktails or quenching our thirst with some iced cider. On a particularly warm day, we can enjoy barbeques in our backyard or even get a light tan while grilling. We love tanning, don’t we?
Meanwhile, our babies’ thinner, more delicate skin is especially vulnerable to those UV rays.
If we want to prevent potential sunburns and protect their super sensitive skin, we need to start building a strong foundation from the very beginning…
Here’s what you need to take care of to keep your little one safe and sound!
Babies and toddlers should generally avoid the sun between 10am to 4pm. The UV rays are strongest during these hours. This guideline is especially important for babies younger than 6 months, who are less able to sweat and regulate their temperature. If that’s too difficult as it’s such a big part of the day, seek for shade to minimize exposure to the damaging rays.
Shade & Shelter
When it comes to babies, shade shall be your bestie. This is because keeping them in the shade, will be your No1 priority regardless the timing.
For example, when in a baby stroller, use a large canopy that’s wide enough to offer enough shade for the baby. Or anything that provides your baby adequate shade, such as trees, gazebos, awnings or covered pavilions.
For further protection:
Babies when in a car, should be sited in the middle of the back seats. This way they can be as far as possible from the windows. It would also be a good idea, to put some mesh windows shields in your car for some extra protection from the UV rays.
Remember, the sun’s ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation can penetrate glass, but window film will block almost 100 percent of both UVA and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays without reducing visibility.
What about Sunscreen?
A baby that is between 0-6 months old should stay out of direct sunlight as their skin doesn’t have enough melanin to be effectively protected from the sun.
Babies older than 6 months can and should wear a sunscreen of at least SPF15 that will be reapplied often. For such a delicate skin, opt for a physical sunscreen with natural filters that’s broad spectrum and parabens free. To check skin compatibility, you can try the patch test first. Try a small amount of sunscreen to a small area of skin to ensure your baby can tolerate the product.
For Infants between 1-3 years old, you may go for a higher SPF and look for sunscreens with soothing gents such as chamomile extract and natural/inorganic filters.
Thoroughly apply the suncream 15-30 minutes before going out and make sure you cover all exposed areas including the ears, forehead, nose, feet and areas behind the knees.
Extra tip: If it’s too hot a day, a paddling pool in the shade of your own backyard will keep your baby cool and happy.
Clothing and hats
For babies 0-12 months, we’d recommend dressing them in lightweight, breathable long-sleeved gowns, onesies or long-sleeved shirts and long pants in light colors or pastels as they reflect the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
For toddlers 1-3 years old, go for breathable fabrics like cotton that aren’t see-through for optimal UV protection. In general, a typical white t-shirt has a sun protection factor around 7 which drops to about 3 when it is wet. The more worn or stretched out a garment gets, the less SPF it offers. Garment with a tighter weave provide more protection.
Furthermore, have him/her wear a hat with a wide brim or a long flap at the back to protect their head and neck from the sun. A brim that protects the ears too is great for an ideal sun protection.
You may now enjoy those sunny days along with your baby/ies.