Whatever our skin color, we’re all potentially susceptible to sunburn and other harmful effects of exposure to UV radiation. Although we all need to take precautions to protect our skin, people who need to be especially careful in the sun are those who have
- pale skin
- blonde, red, or light brown hair
- been treated for skin cancer
- a family member who’s had skin cancer
If you take medicines, ask your health care professional about sun-care precautions; some medications may increase sun sensitivity.
We’ve created a great list of sunscreens that are salicylate (aspirin) and harmful chemical free. Many use organic ingredients, and we’ve chosen the best of the best. You can download the list by clicking here.
You’re at the beach, slathered in sunscreen. Your 5-month-old baby is there, too. Should you put sunscreen on her? Not usually, according to Hari Cheryl Sachs, M.D., a pediatrician at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“The best approach is to keep infants under 6 months out of the sun,” Sachs says, “and to avoid exposure to the sun in the hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when ultraviolet (UV) rays are most intense.”
What makes babies so different?
For one thing, babies’ skin is much thinner than that of adults, and it absorbs the active, chemical ingredients in sunscreen more easily. For another, infants have a high surface-area to body-weight ratio compared to older children and adults. Both these factors mean that an infant’s exposure to the chemicals in sunscreens is much greater, increasing the risk of allergic reaction or inflammation.
The best protection is to keep your baby in the shade, if possible. If there is no natural shade, create your own with an umbrella or the canopy of the stroller.
If there’s no way to keep an infant out of the sun, you can apply a small amount of sunscreen-with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15-to small areas such as the cheeks and back of the hands. Test your baby’s sensitivity to sunscreen by first trying a small amount on the inner wrist.
Dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. Tight weaves are better than loose. Keep in mind that while baseball caps are cute, they don’t shade the neck and ears, sensitive areas for a baby.
Summer’s heat presents other challenges for babies.
Younger infants also don’t sweat like we do. Sweat naturally cools the rest of us down when we’re hot, but babies haven’t yet fully developed that built-in heating-and-cooling system. So you want to make sure your baby doesn’t get overheated.
In the heat, babies are also at greater risk of becoming dehydrated. To make sure they’re adequately hydrated, offer them their usual feeding of breast milk or formula. The water content in both will help keep them well hydrated. A small of amount water in between these feedings is also okay.
For more information, go to: https://reyessyndrome.wordpress.com/category/kids-and/kids-and-sunscreen/infants/
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