Finally! The sun has arrived. And while it brings with it hours of outdoor play and countless beach trips it also requires a little extra prep and precaution from you. So, get clued up how you can keep your little one safe in the sun (and still get yourself a little tan).
If your little one hasn’t yet reached the six month milestone, her skin is very delicate and hasn’t yet developed it’s natural barrier completely. Make sure you avoid direct sunlight, especially during 11am and 3pm as these are the hottest times of the day.
‘Being out in the sun is also dangerous for babies because they can’t regulate their temperature in the same way adults can, which means they easily overheat and can’t tell you!’ says Dr Susan Mayou, consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation.
Make sure you avoid direct sunlight, especially during 11am and 3pm as these are the hottest times of the day.
Keep your little one covered up so as little of her skin is exposed to the sun as possible. A hat is a great idea, too, and will help keep her head nice and cool. You can also attach a sunshade to her pram to keep the sun off her and use a parasol of canopy for her to lie under outside.
Once your baby’s six months old, you can protect her skin with sun lotion. ‘I recommend a higher SPF 50+ and a high UVA protection for use of babies,’ says Dr Mayou.
If you’re worried about it reacting with your baby’s skin, do a little patch test before applying it all over her
‘If your child does develop irritation at the test spot, choose a hypoallergenic formula instead,’ says Dr Mayou.
Look out for chemicals in sunscreen
Save yourself spending hours searching for the right sun lotion for your baby by knowing what you want to avoid.
‘Children's sunscreens use ingredients less likely to irritate the skin, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide,’ says Dr Mayou. ‘Unlike chemical ingredients, these protect babies' skin without being absorbed.’
Get to grips with everything to steer clear of here.
Apply your baby’s sunscreen generously and frequently – as you would your own. ‘You should reapply at least every two hours, and even more often if your little one is in and out the water,’ says Dr Mayou.
Watch out for sunburn
If your baby does get sunburnt, it’s best that you take her to the doctor to get checked over – even if it doesn’t seem to be too bad. Babies can’t withstand the sun in the same way adults can.
You can treat the sunburn at home by keeping her skin moisturised or using baby-safe and paediatrician-approved after sun. ‘You may also want to bathe your baby in a cool bath to help the skin cool down,’ says Dr Mayou.
‘Pat her skin dry once she’s out of the bath – don’t rub it as it will hurt her.’
Also make sure you give your baby lots to drink (either milk or water are fine) to help the skin heal and keep her hydrated.
Do you have any suncare tips to share? Let us know in the comments box below.