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Do Infants and Young Children Need Sun Protection?

Posted on 26 May 2022


When you're going out with your infant and young children, sun protection is important. Indeed, their skin is susceptible to severe sunburns. While the best thing would be to keep your baby indoors on sunny days, it may not be entirely possible.

What can you do to protect your baby's skin from harmful UV rays? Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the FDA.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Keep newborns and babies below six months out of direct sunlight. The best protection is to keep them in the shade, for example, under a tree. Alternatively, use a stroller canopy, an umbrella, or a pop-up tent. It's also crucial that you protect your children from the sun when it's hottest, usually between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

When to Apply Sunscreen for Sun Protection

According to the Food and Drug Administration, sunscreen isn't the answer to protecting your baby's skin from the sun. The product puts babies at a greater risk of sunscreen side effects like rashes.

It's only safe to apply sunscreen on your baby's skin from 6-12 months. When they're ready, choose a product designed for their skin and one that won't sting their eyes. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.

Alternatives to Sunscreen

The best alternative to sunscreen for babies under six months is to clothe them in protective items. Protect their head, neck, ears, and face with a wide-brimmed hat. Check that you don't over-clothe the baby to prevent them from overheating.

Use removable mesh window shields to prevent direct sunlight from coming in through the windows. You could also invest in UV window film that screens almost 100% of the UV radiation without affecting visibility.

Sun Protection for Babies and Young Children Is Important

Some sunlight is suitable for your baby's bone health, but too much exposure can be detrimental to their skin health. If your baby is less than 6 months old, they may not be ready for sunscreen yet. Stick to protective clothing and items to keep them from the sun's rays.

When they're ready for sunscreen, go for one suited for their skin. Little Leaves Clothing Co. is a resource for more sun protection insights. Check out our blog to learn more or browse our catalog to shop for skin protection products.


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