Baby’s Skin And Sun Rays
Baby’s skin is very delicate. One has to be very careful in applying anything including sunscreen on it. Sun rays are very strong and contain UVA and UVB rays which are harmful for skin of a person, so mothers are advised to protect their babies from sun rays.
How To Protect Babies From Sun Rays
Avoid unnecessary out door trips with baby especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when sun rays are very strong. If it is necessary to go out, make the baby wear loose and light clothes covering body, arms and legs, with a hat which covers head and gives shade to the face. Use a stroller with a big shade or fix a parasol with it. Remember precaution is always better than treatment.
Why To Use Sunscreen
If delicate skin of baby gets sun burn, it may double the chances of melanoma in future. In US about two million people get skin cancer every year so it is necessary to use safety measures and apply sunscreen when going out, to avoid harmful effects of ultraviolet rays of sun and to decrease the chances of skin cancer in babies.
Sun burn can also be quite painful, and your baby will feel very irritated if his skin gets hurt in this way.
Can I Use Sunscreen On My Baby ?
Are Sunscreens Safe?
Physical sunscreens are not absorbed through the skin and do not penetrate deeper than stratum corneum, which is a superficial skin layer, so they may be considered safe to use for babies. Sunscreens give extra precautions against ultraviolet rays of sun, but keeping a baby under sun for a long period of time is not advisable in any case.
Recommended Age Of Babies To Use Sunscreen
For a baby, smaller than six months of age, it is highly recommended to avoid sun rays or use the precautionary measures given in above paragraphs to avoid sunburn. Sunscreen can be used when a baby is six months or older with safety measures.
Which Sunscreen To Use
- Use sunscreen specially made for children, better if it is waterproof.
- Use broad spectrum sun screen which covers both UVA and UVB rays.
- In market sunscreens based on both physical and chemical formulae are available. For babies, preferably use sunscreen with physical formula like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not cause irritation and are not harmful when baby takes his fist in his mouth and accidently swallows a little of the sunscreen
- The SPF should be from 30 to 50.
- Do not use sunscreens which have insect repellants as they may be harmful for delicate skin of the baby.
- Avoid chemical sunscreens which have PABA or oxybenzone. These chemicals can cause chemical reactions and are not good for skin.
How To Use Sunscreen
Do a patch test on a small area of skin, when using sunscreen for the first time. Wait for thirty minutes. If rashes or irritation does not appear, apply on the whole body, protecting eyes. Whenever baby is taken outdoor during day time, liberal use of sunscreen is a must to avoid skin from harmful effects of sun rays.