Tag Archives: What to Do

Kids and Sunscreen (Infants)

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.”  infants_and_sunscreen

Sunscreens are recommended for children and adults. 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, explains Sachs. 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, Sachs says. If there’s 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. Sachs suggests testing your baby’s sensitivity to sunscreen by first trying a small amount on the inner wrist.

Cover Up

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests dressing 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, Sachs says. 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, says Sachs. The water content in both will help keep them well hydrated. A small of amount water in between these feedings is also okay.

sun_hat_baby

Make this oh-so-cute Sun Hat for Baby!

Here are some things to keep in mind this summer when outside with infants:

Keep your baby in the shade as much as possible. If you do use a small amount of sunscreen on your baby, don’t assume the child is well protected.

  • Make sure your child wears clothing that covers and protects sensitive skin. Use common sense; if you hold the fabric against your hand and it’s so sheer that you can see through it, it probably doesn’t offer enough protection.
  • Make sure your baby wears a hat that provides sufficient shade at all times.
  • Watch your baby carefully to make sure he or she doesn’t show warning signs of sunburn or dehydration. These include fussiness, redness and excessive crying.
  • Hydrate! Give your baby formula, breast milk, or a small amount of water between feedings if you’re out in the sun for more than a few minutes. Don’t forget to use a cooler to store the liquids.
  • Take note of how much your baby is urinating. If it’s less than usual, it may be a sign of dehydration, and that more fluids are needed until the flow is back to normal.
  • Avoid sunscreens containing the insect repellent DEET on infants, particularly on their hands. Young children may lick their hands or put them in their mouths. According to AAP, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old.
  • If you do notice your baby is becoming sunburned, get out of the sun right away and apply cold compresses to the affected areas.
  • Make sure you talk with your pediatrician, or pharmacist if your baby is taking medications of any kind.  Sun and some Medications can cause bad interactions.
  • Never give an Infant or Child under the age of 19 aspirin, or use aspirin (salicylate) containing products as it could trigger Reye’s Syndrome, a deadly disease.

Related Information:

Like this information?

donate_baby_angel

Click to Donate and Educate

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Infants, Kids and Sunscreen, Kids And....

What To Do After Giving Your Child Aspirin

What To Do After Giving a Child Aspirin

3 phone calls within 30 minutes from moms who did not know about the aspirin – Reye’s Syndrome link.  All 3 moms inNo Aspirin Products for Children!  tears.  All 3 moms thinking they have seriously endangered their child’s life.

One mom, of a seven year old, asked her office co-workers if they knew of the danger of Reye’s and aspirin (salicylates). Half! yes, half! of her co-workers were unaware that aspirin products could trigger Reye’s Syndrome.  Half had never heard of Reye’s Syndrome!

This is very scary! The children of the half who were unaware of Reye’s are at terrible risk.

One mom stated that her mother told her “she always use to give her and her siblings aspirin, those little orange chew-ables , and that it never did any harm to any of them.”  They were lucky. Very lucky. Many other families lost children to those little orange chewable “baby” aspirins.

There is no cure for Reye’s. There is no test that can be run to determine if a child is susceptible to Reye’s after ingesting aspirin products.

The only thing a parent can do after giving their child aspirin is watch for Reye’s symptoms.

Symptoms usually show up AFTER the child begins to feel better, goes back to school, and begins to return to a normal everyday routine. They will be their normal selves, and then:

Vomiting is where it begins. The kind that hits hard and fast, without warning.
     This is the first Red Flag.
At the second or third bout of this vomiting, the child should be taken to the emergency room – preferably an emergency room at a children’s hospital.

Then, loss of energy – loss of pep. They will feel lethargic, not interested in playing.
Combine this with the vomiting, and you have a stronger case for Reye’s.

They will want to sleep a lot. They will be difficult to wake up.
They may lose some motor skills; be unsteady on their feet, walk into walls, not recognize where they are, be confused.
At this point, it is -absolutely- critical the child get to an emergency room where a diagnosis of Reye’s can be made.

They may become combative – not want you to touch them, or strike out at anything near them.
At this point, it is imperative the child be admitted to ICU and Reye’s Treatment begun.

Coma is the last phase.

The worst thing about Reye’s is that once Reye’s is triggered, there is little time. The faster the diagnosis of Reye’s can be made, and the treatment for Reye’s begun, the better the child has of surviving.

Most doctors will not think about Reye’s as a first diagnosis. Many of them have not seen a case of Reye’s. They will diagnose the problem as gastroenteritis, or meningitis, and many parents will be asked if the child is on drugs.

You, as a parent, will have to –insist– that your doctor test for, and rule out, Reye’s.

Most doctors think Reye’s has disappeared. We are here to tell you, sadly, it has not, and we receive case reports throughout the year.

If your doctor is unsure, and wants medical support from one of our specialists, all they have to do is call the Foundation at 800.233.7393  and we will put them in touch with one of our knowledgeable doctors.

We tell parents and caregivers; Reye’s is rare;  just watch for symptoms for about 10 days after the child begins to feel better. If symptoms appear, act quickly. We are more than happy to answer any and all questions, too.  Don’t hesitate to call or email us with your concerns. We are here to educate and support you.

Yes, Reye’s is rare, but it has not gone away. If Reye’s was gone, the Foundation’s mission would be accomplished and we would have dissolved.  We are still here because Reye’s is still here, and there are still parents and caregivers who do not know about Reye’s. The only way we can eradicate this horrible child killing disease is through education and awareness.

Save a child’s life, and a family unnecessary trauma and horrific loss, by spreading the word: Kids and Aspirin Products DON’T Mix!

Leave a comment

Filed under After Giving A Child Aspirin