Posted on: 05/30/2012
The best way to protect your child in the sun:
- Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Find shade under a tree, umbrella, or the stroller canopy.
- Select clothes made with a tight weave.
- Wear a hat or cap with a brim that faces forward to shield the face.
- Limit sun exposure between 10:00 and 4:00 pm, when UV rays are strongest.
- Wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection.
- Use Sunscreen.
- Use sunscreen that says "broad-spectrum" on label, it will screen out UVB and UVA rays.
- Use a sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15. The higher the SPF, the more UVB protection.
- Look for the new UVA "star" rating system on the label. One star is low UVA protection. Two stars is medium protection. Three stars is high protection. Four stars is highest UVA protection available.
- For sensitive areas of the body (nose, cheeks, ears, and shoulders) choose a sunscreen or sunblock with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. While these products usually stay visible on the skin even after you rub them in, some now come in fun colors that kids enjoy.
- Apply 15-30 minutes before going outdoors to give time for the sunscreen to bind and absorb into the skin.
- Use enough to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet and hands and even the backs of the knees.
- Reapply every 2 hours. Sunscreen wears off after swimming, sweating, or just from soaking into the skin.
Sunscreen for Babies
- Babies younger than 6 months, use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as face and backs of the hands, if protective clothing and shade are not available.
- Babies older than 6 months, apply to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes. If baby rubs sunscreen into eyes, wipe with a damp cloth. If the sunscreen irritates skin, try a different brand or try a sunscreen stick or sunscreen or sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
This link is a nice review of available sunscreens with information about effectiveness and chemical content.Back to Article List