Baby Sun Protection
Babies and small children can suffer when the weather gets too warm. The risks of sunburn are well documented, but sun care doesn’t stop at slathering them with Factor 50.
Baby Skin Care in the Sun
Babies’ sensitive skin needs extra special care in the sun, even more so than an adult’s skin. Studies have shown that getting sunburnt in childhood can increase your risk of skin cancer in later life1, so it's extremely important that you protect your little ones and keep their skin well protected from the sun’s harmful effects.
Ideally, babies under six months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight. This is because their skin hasn’t built up enough natural melanin to protect them from UV light yet.2 As baby gets older, she can go out in the sunshine, but she will still need sun protection - make sure that you use a specially formulated sunscreen like Bepanthen Baby Sun Cream which offers a very high protection for babies’ sensitive skin. Sun protection for children should also be formulated to contain less alcohol or fragrance than adult sunscreens, to avoid irritating their skin.3
Apply sunscreen liberally to any parts of baby’s body not covered up by clothes, remembering his face, ears, feet and the backs of his hands.4
When you’re looking for the right sunscreen to protect your baby, opt for one that gives UVA as well as UVB protection. If the worst happens and baby does get burnt, apply after-sun cream to help relieve the pain.4
Keep Cool and Carry On
Keep your baby cool in hot weather and try to keep him covered up as much as possible. It’s not just sunburn that can affect babies and young children when the weather is very warm, you also need to protect them from heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration, too.
Heat exhaustion happens because the body overheats and can’t cool down. It can lead to heat stroke if not picked up.
Symptoms to look out
- hot, flushed skin
- heavy sweating
- rapid heartbeat
- weeing less than normal.
If you notice any of the symptoms, take baby somewhere cool immediately, loosen his clothing and give him lots to drink. If you can, try and cool him down with a cool flannel or cloth. The symptoms should ease in around 30 minutes. If there's no improvement after this time, call an ambulance.5
Top Tips for Keeping Baby Cool
Keep babies and young children out of the sun when it's at its strongest, between 11am to 3pm. If you have to take your baby out on a hot day, keep her in the shade by attaching a parasol to her pushchair.6
Apply a high factor sunscreen such as Bepanthen Baby Sun Cream frequently. Look for a total sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 50, and remember to apply it again if baby has been playing in the sea or a paddling pool.6
Protect baby's head and neck with a sun hat; find one with a wide brim or that has a long flap at the back to cover her neck.6