How to Know it is Time to Use Sunscreen on Your Baby

Medicure Clinic is with you especially in protecting your baby's soft, fragile skin from the sun is one of the most important things you can do for their health. Babies skin is incredibly sensitive to burns, rashes and a myriad of other problems, and should your baby become sunburned, it will make both them and you miserable. Therefore, it's vitally important that you take the necessary steps to protect them from the sun.

For older children and adults, using sunscreen is usually the easiest and most effective way to prevent sunburns. However, this isn't the case for infants and newborns. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other similar, competent agencies recommend that you never use sunscreen on a baby until they are at least six months old, as the chemicals in the sunscreen could possibly be harmful to them. This is especially true once they reach that stage where they start putting everything into their mouths, especially their little hands and feet.

So, if your infant is under 6 months old, instead of using sunscreen you should just make sure that they stay out of the direct sun. If you're going out on a sunny day, make sure to use an umbrella or put the top up on your stroller to ensure they aren't exposed to the sun. Try to keep them in the shade whenever possible and also make sure to dress them in lightweight, long clothing that completely covers their arms and legs. Finally, you should also put on a hat with a large brim and consider sunglasses as well.

If your baby is over six months, you can then begin using small amounts of sunscreen on them in addition to still following the above advice. Most doctors recommend you use a physical sunscreen that stays on the skin and isn't absorbed or rubbed in. Products containing titanium or zinc oxide are usually the best. Although there isn't any evidence to suggest the sunscreens that get absorbed into the skin are harmful, they can cause rashes or skin irritation, so it's best to avoid them until your child is at least a few years old.