Keeping Your Baby Sun-Safe
*Yawn* Good morning world, what a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, Messina has introduced two new ice-cream flavours involving coconut… all signs point to SUMMER!
Summer is the best! Tis the season of outdoor activities, long brunches and sand being literally EVERYWHERE. At all times…whether a beach has been visited or not.
But, as summer giveth, summer also burneth, and making sure your baby is sun-safe is priority number one in these hotter months.
Sun Safety for 0-6 Months
Brand new babies are much more sensitive to the sun than older children so it is imperative that they are protected from the sun’s UV rays (especially in Australia… Hi there ozone layer hole).
Their delicate skin contains very little melanin, which is the pigment that provides us sunbaker-title-holders with a base of natural sun protection.
Before you reach for the sunscreen and attempt to set a sunblock slathering record (only to be rivalled by that of the Australian Cricket Team)… STAND DOWN. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends waiting until your bub is at least six months old before introducing sunscreen. Their skin is just too sensitive.
So, in conclusion, have fun spending your whole summer indoors and we’ll see you next year.
Sun-Safety Recommendations 0-6 months:
- The first line of defence against the enemy (UV rays) is clothing.
Dress your baby in lightweight clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
Make sure its lightweight! Heatstroke is a very real, dangerous consequence.
- Add to the dashing ensemble a wide-brimmed hat (which, at first, they will probably hate wearing, but everyone else will ADORE)… Pain is beauty my infant friends, pain is beauty.
- Fancy a stroll around the park? FAB! Just attach a sun protective cover to your pram.
(Try, if possible, to avoid being outside for too long particularly between 10am and 4pm. That’s when the sun is at its strongest)
- While in the car, use a removable mesh window shield.
Note: sneaky, damaging sun rays can still pass through glass
Sun Safety for 6 + Months
Congratulations! You made it to 6 months with a sunburn free baby! As your reward you may now allow your baby to start playing in the sun and may commence turning them into a human sunscreen sculpture.
Sun-Safety Recommendations 6+ Months:
Even on an overcast day always, always, always apply specially formulated baby sunscreen (remember the higher the SPF number the better! Soo.. where can I get me some SPF 380+?!)
- Apply the sunscreen generously about 15 minutes before heading out and re-apply every two hours
- Use waterproof sun block if your little fish loves a dip (don’t forget to reapply afterwards)
What to do if Your Baby Gets a Sunburn?
Of course, every precaution was taken to avoid it (bar waiting-out summer in a basement with no windows), but sometimes… kids get sunburned.
The most noticeable indication of sunburn is redness on the skin that feels warm. Serious sunburn can cause blistering on the affected skin or a fever.
If your baby is younger than 12 months and may have a sunburn seek medical advice from your doctor. Sunburn in infants can be more serious than it appears, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
If your bub is 12 months plus (unless it looks very serious), feel free to treat the sunburn at home by:
- Treating with a cold compress for 10-15 mins throughout the day
- Bathing your little cutie in lukewarm water to cool the skin
- Gently applying a sensitive baby moisturiser or calming cream.
(Avoid using petroleum based creams as they can block heat and sweat and may worsen the burn)
- If your baby is in pain, feel free to reach for the over-the-counter baby pain-killers
- There’s a good chance your baby is dehydrated from the sun exposure, so make sure they’re drinking lots and are well hydrated
Stay Sun safe and have a great summer!
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By Jodi Lee, 2019