Overexposure to the sun from a young age is very damaging to the skin and can increase your baby’s risk of developing skin cancer as they get older. Even on overcast days, the sun’s rays can be damaging to our skin and babies are particularly vulnerable.
Whether you are taking a stroll around the neighbourhood, spending a day at the beach, or going to the park, protecting your baby’s skin is extremely important. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect your baby’s skin during the summer months. Below we have listed some of the most effective.
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Always Apply & Reapply Sunscreen
For babies six months and over, it is important to apply sunscreen whenever you take them outside. Even if it doesn’t look particularly sunny, applying sunscreen just adds that extra layer of protection needed to avoid any damage from the sun’s rays.
Applying a mineral-based sunscreen of at least 15 SPF and reapplying at regular intervals throughout the day is one of the best ways to ensure your baby is protected. And if you’re worried about skin irritation, there are plenty of non-toxic and natural sunscreens specifically developed for children with sensitive skin.
Avoid Sunscreen Under 6 Months
Sunscreen should not be applied to babies under the age of six months. The reason for this is because very young babies have extra sensitive skin that cannot handle the application of many products. Even if sunscreens are natural and non-toxic, they should be avoided until the baby is six months of age or older.
Instead of using sunscreen on very young babies, consider other ways to protect them from the sun such as keeping skin covered with long-sleeved clothing, using hats, hair bands or umbrellas, or simply restricting time spent in direct sunlight.
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Seek Out Shaded Areas
When spending time outside, it is important to be vigilant and aware of your baby’s needs. Babies quickly redden and burn in the sun. So, if you notice this happening it is important to seek out shade.
If you cannot take your baby indoors straight away, consider finding shade under a tree or pulling a light, airy blanket partially over the buggy to create a shaded space.
Umbrellas and tents are also a popular way to create shade on sunny days – especially for those spending time at the beach! With wide brims, your baby can lie or sit underneath the shade of the umbrella or tent and enjoy the fresh air without the risk of sunburn.
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Bathe Your Baby Multiple Times A Day
During the summer, your baby may sweat more. This can cause irritation to the skin and make your baby feel uncomfortable. Bathing your baby regularly during the summer months helps ease this problem. You should bathe your baby at least twice a day to wash off the sweat and keep your baby feeling comfortable throughout the day. Regular baths also keep your baby cool and may help improve their sleep.
Be sure to use lukewarm bathwater that isn’t too hot and isn’t too cold. Lukewarm temperatures are ideal for keeping your baby comfortable and cooling them down on hot summer days. Pay special attention to washing your baby’s face, armpits, neck, and all folds in their skin where sweat can gather and irritate. Dry your baby thoroughly after washing and dress them in fresh, clean clothes.
Check out our baby bath tips for a stress-free bathing experience.
Limit Time Spent Outside
The hottest time of the day, when the sun is at its strongest, is between 10 am and 3 pm. This is when it is wise to limit time spent outside by keeping your baby indoors and away from direct sunlight.
It may sound extreme, but these hours are when most people suffer from sunburn and heatstroke so you have to be careful. If you have to be outside between these times and it is a sunny day, follow the protective tips above.
Protecting your baby’s skin during the summer is one of the best things you can do for the health of your infant. By taking the proper precautions, you will help prevent serious skin problems, such as skin cancer, that can develop as your baby gets older.
By following the tips we’ve outlined above, your baby will not only be able to safely enjoy the summer months themselves, but you will be able to rest a lot easier as well.