Babies in the sun

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Babies in the sun

It is summer, the Sun it shines and you really want to go out and enjoy the summer with your baby.  How children should be exposed to the sun?

If you are a mother of a infant younger than 6-8 months however, it is better keep it completely out of the sun's rays.

After 8 months, if the baby wants to play in the sea or in the open air, protect his delicate skin with a hat, choose loose and cool clothes for him and apply a sunscreen. However, he remembers that it is always better to keep the child in the shade during the central hours of the day, when the sun is warmest.


Children on the beach: 10 tips to protect them

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Sun and sea air are good for children, who can finally play and have fun freely on the beach. But you have to follow some simple rules, to enjoy the benefits ...

In this article

  • How to protect my baby's skin from the sun?
  • What kind of sunscreen should I use for my baby? 
  • What should i do if my baby gets burned? 
Read also: The decalogue of children in the sun

How to protect my baby's skin from the sun?

  • try to keep your baby in the shade as much as possible, under the trees, under an umbrella or awning.
  • the baby will be happy to stroll around in the shade. If your baby crawls or walks instead, encourage him to sit down and play in the shade, if it is very hot. It is especially important not to expose it to the sun during the hottest hours of the day.
  • cover the baby's skin with clothes in light and natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen.
  • wear a hat with a laga brim, which will shade the baby's face, ears and neck. Choose a hat with an elastic or Velcro strap that ties under the chin so it won't come off.
  • use sunglasses for your baby, to protect his sensitive eyes. Sunglasses must be good quality wrap-around glasses - check that they have a UV 400 label, which indicates that the sunglasses have 100% UV protection.
  • When you are out and about with your baby on a hot day, raise the hood of the stroller or mount a parasol on your wheelchair. Remember to check regularly that it is still sheltering from the sun and fix it when necessary. Give the child one anyway sunscreen when you go out for walks.
Read also: Sun exposure for the little ones: risks and prevention

What kind of sunscreen should I use for my baby?

  • Once your baby is past 6 - 8 months, you can use sun creams or sprays specially formulated for babies and children. As we cannot be completely sure of the effectiveness of sunscreens on younger children, it is recommended that you keep your baby out of the sun for the first 6 months.
  • If you have a baby who is over 6-8 months old, choose a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) (50). Also, check the label stating that the sunscreen is a broad spectrum with a four or five star rating which means it offers good UVA and UVB protection.
  • Apply the sunscreen so on every part of your baby's skin that is not covered by clothes or a hat, including hands and feet. You'll need a plum-sized amount of sunscreen, probably a lot more than you'd expect. It is better to pat it rather than rub it.
  • If you can, put sunscreen on your baby about 15 minutes before he goes outside. You will need to reapply it at least every couple of hours and after it has played in the water, even if the sunscreen is water resistant.
  • If your baby has sensitive skin, check the ingredients list to see if the cream contains anything that may irritate his skin or trigger an allergic reaction.
Read also: 7 reasons to take children to the beach

What should i do if my baby gets burned?

Children's skin is very delicate. Despite your best efforts to protect it, sadly, they can sometimes occur sunburn. You may not notice a sunburn right away, as it may take several hours for redness and pain from the burn to appear.

If your baby's sunburn looks red and sore:

  • Soak a washcloth in cold water, wring it out, and then gently place it on the sunburned area for 10 minutes to 15 minutes. Repeat several times a day.
  • Bathe your baby in cool water to cool the skin and reduce redness.
  • Apply a moisturizer or emollient to soothe the skin.
  • Offer extra water and drinks to help your child cool off and replenish fluids lost due to sweating.
  • If you have a severe sunburn, call your pediatrician.

Tips for children in the sun

After 8 months, if the baby wants to play outdoors, it is advisable:

  • make the child wear a hat
  • make him wear loose and cool clothes
  • always apply sunscreen
  • keep the child in the shade during the hours when the sun is hottest, between 11am and 00pm
Read also: Heatstroke and sunstroke: what they are, how to intervene, how to prevent them

Sources for this article:

Ministry of Safe Summer Health

Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital 5 things to know about children and the sun

BabyCentre Keeping your baby safe in the sun

American Academy of Pediatrics Sun Safety and Protection Tips

Questions and answers

Can a baby be brought under an umbrella?

Babies under 6-8 months of age should never be exposed to direct sun. It is good to know that, even under an umbrella, you are not protected from the heat or from the sun's rays.

How to apply the sunscreen?   

At home, before going out or going to the beach: the sunscreen should be put on when the children are not sweaty and reapplied immediately after the bath, and in any case every two hours. 

How to get children to sunbathe?  

You can take walks in the open air, in the park, by the sea or in the mountains; direct exposure to the sun (therefore on the beach) after 10:30 in the morning and before 16:00 in the afternoon is strictly forbidden. 

Read also: 12 tips for proper sun exposure

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