Parents looking forward to the summer season should think ahead on how to protect their kids from the sun, especially toddlers and newborn babies.
Summer adventures with kids make for memorable experiences. However, parents will need to keep the following things in mind to make sure that their babies or toddlers are safe from the harmful effects of sun exposure.
How To Keep Babies Safe From The Sun
Too much exposure to the sun may be harmful to children, especially to younger toddlers and babies. Possible effects include overheating, dehydration, and skin damage.
As much as possible, babies less than six months should not be exposed to direct sunlight. However, if the need arises such as when going out on a family trip, parents should plan ahead to provide shade for the baby. The baby should always have an umbrella or cabana available, and if going out in the sun is needed, the time should be outside 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., which is when the ultraviolet rays are the strongest.
Babies should be dressed in cool and comfortable clothing that covers their body, and they should remain hydrated. The preferred fluid for babies is not water but rather breast milk and baby formula, as they provide the proper electrolyte balance.
Sunscreen For Kids
One of the most popular methods for protecting children from the sun, especially toddlers, is the application of sunscreen. However, there are also some rules to follow when applying sunscreen for kids.
Children's National Health System pediatric dermatologist Dr. Kalyani Marathe recommended sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Parents may also check for sunscreens that have at least 10 percent to 15 percent zinc oxide or over 5 percent titanium dioxide, as these active ingredients effectively block ultraviolet rays while being gentler on the skin, avoiding irritation.
Marathe added that parents should check out sunscreen for sensitive skin and sunscreen for the face. Sunscreen for the face, along with the ears and the back of a neck, usually come in stick form, to be used on areas that are often missed when applying sunscreen on toddlers.
However, toddlers and babies are not the only ones in need of protection from the sun. According to general tips for sunscreen use, including for adults, sunscreen should be applied after every two hours, and their expiration date should always be checked.