Top 10 Sun Safety Facts For Babies
From a beach picnic to a day at the park, everyone enjoys a little outdoor fun. Unfortunately, just one blistering sunburn as a child more than doubles a person’s chance of developing skin cancer later in life.
Here are 10 sun safety facts that can better help you protect your family from the sun’s dangerous rays.
1. The minimum SPF recommended by the American Medical Association (AMA) is 30. Avoid applying anything less on your child, especially when going to places like the beach or playground.
2. Sunscreen takes time to dry. It should be applied 20-30 minutes before going outside to ensure chemicals have enough time to start working properly.
3. Sunscreen doesn’t last all day. Especially if your kids are playing in the pool or ocean, make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Sweat and water can cause sunscreen to wear off, so reapplying ensures it will keep going strong for much longer.
4. The sun is most dangerous between 10AM and 4PM. Schedule your family outings either early in the morning or later in the afternoon. This will help protect your baby from the sun’s most dangerous rays.
5. Sand and water can reflect up to 85% of the sun’s rays. Make sure you’re extra careful with your baby’s delicate skin by limiting time inside the water or playing in the sand.
6. Some babies are sensitive to sunscreen. According to the American Association of Dermatology (AAD), sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are most appropriate for the thinner skin of toddlers and infants 6 months or older, because they tend to cause less irritation.
7. Tightly woven clothing provides the best sun protection. It seems natural to take your baby to the park in a breathable fabric like unbleached cotton. However, this can actually be counterproductive as these fabrics have special pigments that act as UV absorbers. Instead, choose high-luster polyesters or even thin, satiny silk, which are highly protective because they reflect radiation.
8. Hats and sunglasses aren’t just for fashion. Taking in too much sunlight can actually be harmful to your baby’s eyesight. If you can’t get them in the shade, make sure you protect their little faces with hats, hoodies and sunglasses designed to block UV rays.
9. Overcast can be deceiving. Even on cloudy days, dangerous UV rays can still cause sunburn. Don’t let a hazy day fool you, make sure to take the same sun safety precautions you would if the sun was shining.
10. Certain medications can increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Ask your pediatrician if any prescription or over-the-counter medications your child is taking cause skin sensitivity.
With the right precautions, you’ll not only reduce your child’s chance of sun damage, but you’ll also teach them good sun sense they can use for years to come.