Effective sun protection strategies for babies…
Experts recommend that all babies under 12 months should not be exposed to direct sunlight during the daily sun protection time or when the UV or ultraviolet index is 3 and above. A baby’s skin is extremely sensitive and this can also burn easily. Studies show that the more sun exposure experienced during childhood, a person is at greater risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
Whenever UV levels are low, protection from the sun is generally not required, as a small amount of sunlight exposure is safe and healthy for infants. However, prolonged exposure to UV lights, even when it is just low, is not recommended for infants. In fact, experts recommend that you provide sun protection by means of clothing and shade.
There are different ways on how you can protect your baby from sun damage. Here is a list of the most effective ones:
Dress Your Child with Sun Protective Clothing
Using sun-protective clothing, you should cover your baby’s skin to protect it against the damaging heat from the sun. This type of clothing can come in the form of cool, loose-fitting wraps and clothes. In choosing this type of baby clothes, you should consider getting clothes with high UPF or UV protection factor, as this type of clothing can provide the most protection. If you cannot find UPF rated clothing for your baby, you can go for fabrics made from natural fibers like linen, hemp, and cotton.
You have to make sure that your baby’s arms and legs are covered in light-colored as well as lightweight clothing. It is ideal to choose baby clothes that are light colored as they reflect the heat and they also keep the skin cooler compared to dark colored clothes.
Use Baby Bonnets or Hats and Sunglasses
Baby bonnets or hats can also be used, as they provide good shade to the baby’s face, neck, eyes and ears. A hat with a brim is ideal to use as this can provide shade to the eyes, reducing the exposure of UV radiation to the eyes.
Experts recommend the use soft legionnaire hats that come with flap at the back of the neck, bucket hats that come with a deep crown as well as an angled brim, and broad-brimmed hats. In choosing a baby hat, you should have to make sure that factors like the size, comfort, amount of shade provided and safety are taken into consideration.
Since most babies do not like to wear hats, it is important to be persistent in ensuring that they wear them if they are going to be exposed to direct sunlight. Regardless of whether your baby is bald or with hair, you have to make sure that he or she wears a hat.
If your baby can tolerate sunglasses, you should let him or her wear one as well when you go outdoors. Wearing sunglasses can ensure that his or her eyes are protected from the prolonged exposure to sunlight. In choosing sunglasses, you have to make sure that it fits just right on your child’s face.
Ensure Shade When Going Outdoors
While you may not feel the effects of prolonged sunlight exposure right away, the effects later will be quite damaging, as your baby’s skin is quite thin and sensitive. Thus, it is important that you provide shade whenever you take your baby outdoors. One effective way to do this is to use sunshade on your child’s stroller. You have to make sure that the stroller shade fits the stroller’s canopy to ensure that this can shelter the entire body of your baby.
If you are looking forward to spending some time with your baby in the park or beach, you have to make sure that you look for shaded spots in the area. These areas can include under a tree or through using an umbrella or tent. When traveling, you have to make sure that you make use of a removable mesh window shields or a UV film on your car windows, as these materials can help protect your child from the harmful rays of the sun.
Apply Age-Appropriate Sunscreen Solutions
Sunscreens can also help with protecting your child from the harmful rays of the sun. In fact, this can filter UV radiation. However, this does not completely block the radiation out. However, experts do not recommend the use of sunscreen on babies who are less than six months old. As much as possible, infants should be kept out of the sun, as their skin is too sensitive for sunscreen use and they are more susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun.
Babies who are six to 12 months old are cleared to use sunscreen. You should apply sunscreen to small areas of the body, which are not covered by clothing or hat. There are special sunscreen formulations that are specially made for babies. In choosing a sunscreen, it is important to choose the most appropriate sunscreen for babies, as these products are much gentler on the skin. Before making a purchase, it is important to test the sunscreen on a small area of your baby’s skin. This way, you will be able to check for any adverse skin reactions that your baby might have with the product.
You should use broad-spectrum sunscreen that comes with SPF 15+ formulation or higher. Broad spectrum means that the solution can protect the skin against UVA and UVB rays. The UVB rays can cause wrinkling and sunburn while the UVA rays can cause deeper skin damages.
There are several things to consider when applying sunscreen to your child. For instance, if you are using spray type sunscreen, you should make sure not to apply this directly to the face of your baby. In addition, it is also important to take note that sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outdoors and this must be reapplied every two hours thereafter.