A Guide to Sun Protection For Newborns
Having a new baby in the summertime can seem like the perfect combination! After all, what better time of year for family fun than summer? It’s crucial, however, to properly care for your newborn’s delicate skin whenever you have him or her outdoors during the warmest time of year.
This guide features some helpful information about babies’ skin and some useful, easy-to-implement tips that will make sure you and your family stay safe in the sun all summer long. If you ever have questions about infant, toddler, or childhood sun care, don’t hesitate to connect with one of the New York Dermatology Group’s board-certified dermatologists at 212-533-8888.
How is my baby’s skin different?
Babies have delicate skin that doesn’t hold-up to the sun’s UV rays as well as adult skin does. You know how important it is to take care of your skin when you’re in the sun, so that makes it extra important to take care of your little one’s complexion. Babies have fewer elastic fibers in their skin than adults, meaning that their skin isn’t as thick, so it’s easier for UV rays to permeate and damage every layer of the dermis.
Furthermore, newborns produce less melanin than grown-ups, which means they have less natural protection against the sun’s harmful rays. An infant can get a sunburn very quickly, leading to lasting damage to his or her skin. The proper protection is key to preventing this.
What can I do to keep my baby safe?
There are all kinds of steps you can take to keep the tiniest member of your family safe in the summer sun. One excellent tip is to avoid being outdoors during the heat of the day between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you’re on vacation, try to schedule indoor activities, like museums and aquariums, during this time.
If, however, it’s impossible to keep your infant inside all day, make sure you use high SPF baby sunscreen on him or her. It’s recommended to use something SPF 50 or above. Furthermore, make sure you dress your little one in loose, light, long-sleeved pants and shirts. Some of today’s children’s clothes even contain UPF protection, keeping skin even safer from the potentially harmful effects of UV rays.
Another thing you must do is keep your baby hydrated. Being in the sun and heat can cause infants to become dehydrated fairly quickly, so it’s crucial to bring plenty of water or milk for him or her; water isn’t recommended before 6 months of age, but milk is also quite hydrating.
If you follow these tips and stay in the shade as much as possible, you and your entire family can have a fun-filled summer this year and every year!