Baby Sun Care Every Parent Should Know
Sun care can’t be stressed enough for everyone but where babies are concerned, the need for parents to practice proper sun care is even more vital. No skin is more sensitive than a baby’s and it doesn’t take much exposure to the sun’s harmful rays to do both short term as well as long term damage. Luckily, the steps required to prevent sun damage aren’t difficult to implement.
The type of sun damage that happens to adults can also happen to babies but often with much more server results. Sunburn may seem like a simple enough issue to treat and while it does heal over time, young babies that have been sunburned are more likely to be at risk for developing melanoma later on in life as they get older. According to medical experts, all it takes for the risk factor of melanoma to spike is one sunburn.
Additionally, babies react to sunburns more seriously compared to adults. Common symptoms include dehydration, pain and fever. Needless to say, a small sunburn could result in a large amount of discomfort.
A general rule of thumb all parents should follow is to keep babies under six months of age out of direct sunlight completely. When this can’t be avoided, sun care prevention efforts need to be amped up. Because of the negative impact UV rays can have on a baby’s skin, no amount of precaution is too much and should be taken year-round, not just during the summer.
In addition to being prone to sunburns, babies can also succumb to heat strokes if exposed to excessive sunlight and heat. Unfortunately, protective clothing parents use to keep their babies from sun exposure could lead to heat stroke unknowingly. To avoid the risk of heat stroke while still keeping your baby safe, it is best to opt for loose-fitting clothes made of light fabric, which allows the skin to breathe. Hats and sunglasses are also essential forms of protection against the sun. Make sure your baby wears these items anytime they are not in a shaded area.
While out and about, have a ready supply of beverages to keep your baby hydrated throughout the day. Babies under six months should only be given formula or breast milk to keep them from becoming dehydrated or suffering from a heat stroke. Water can be the beverage of choice for babies over six months.
Another way to decrease the risk of heat stroke is to avoid putting your baby into the car after it has been sitting in the sun for a long period of time. Roll down the windows and run the air conditioning, then place the baby into the car once the interior has completely cooled down.
When enjoying a day of fun in the sun at the beach or pool, the role of sun care should be even more diligent. Consult with your doctor and ask him/her to recommend the right type of sunscreen for your baby. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin on your baby 15-30 minutes before going out and remember that reapplication is key. It is best to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Should your baby get wet, reapply sunscreen after drying them off, regardless of whether two hours has passed or not.