The sun is probably one of your worst enemies when you go outside with your little ones. It’s not because of the heat. The more dangerous component is the ultraviolet (UV) that the sun emits. Add all of these factors together you can get several health hazard issues. Your baby can be at risk of health complications such as dehydration, skin diseases and heat stroke just to name a few.
It is our job as parents to know everything there is to know about sun protection. We must also learn how to prevent these dreaded health conditions from happening. Here are some “need to know” facts about the sun and how it affects our skin.
- Be Extra Vigilant
Know when the sun is at its peak of danger. This is usually around after ten in the morning all the way up to three in the afternoon. Knowing this timeframe, if you want to take your baby out for a stroll, do it early in the morning before ten and late in the afternoon around after three.
If your baby is still a newborn up until six months of age, it is best to steer them away from direct sunlight. Since their skin is very fragile, it can easily be damaged by the UV rays and become dry because of the heat that the sun emits. Plus, sunscreens are not yet advisable for use this early in your baby’s life.
- Shade is Your Baby’s Best Weapon
Always keep in mind the safe times you can let your baby out and bask in the sun. And even if, you do, you need to properly place shading on them. Shade is you and your baby’s best buddy. Remember that UV rays can’t be seen directly, it is a silent enemy that poses great health hazards to its victims.
- Dress Them Right
Choose clothes that are lightweight and breathable but at the same time has been tightly woven. Long sleeves can also be used while your baby is exposed in the sun, just make sure that the material is light and mildly colored.
There are also clothing that are made to protect the kids who wear them from the sun’s rays. These apparels have its own built in sun protection. These are called UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) attires. They are a bit pricey as compared to others but they ensure to safety your child from the sun.
Hats are also a must especially if your baby has minimal hair growth. Other add-ons to your sun safety apparel includes sunglasses as well. There are also sunglasses that offer UV protection.
- Use The Right Sunblock
There are different types of sunblock depending on your child’s age. So don’t go slathering them with your own sunblock because its chemical components might be harmful for them. There is a quick guide for choosing the right sunblock for your kiddos:
Like what I have stated previously, sunblock is a NO-NO during this age. So best to keep them in the house first. If you want to bring them out for a walk, remember the safe time frame and protect them with the hood of their stroller or a big mesh hat.
- For 6 to 12 months
A little sunscreen application is advisable during this time. All you need to do is to apply on those areas that are exposed in the sun. Examples are your baby’s hands and face. There are sunblock companies that manufacture no-tears sunblock with a broad spectrum SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15+, so better choose carefully.
- For Pre-schoolers (Toddlers)
Application of sunscreen for the whole body is not a GO during this age. During this age range, you might have a harder time putting on their sunscreens because they are actively about all the time. You need to pick a broad spectrum sunblock cream that has an SPF of 15 or even higher. Choose the water-resistant spray on sunscreen for toddlers who would not sit still.
Take note that sunscreen application must be made 30 minutes before exposure to the sun. This is done in order to let the sunscreen absorb into your child’s skin and stay there even if they get wet. Also keep in mind that reapplication of sunblock is also a must. You have to reapply it every two hours or when your child is having too much pool time or is sweating a lot.
- Give Liquids as Much as Possible
To prevent dehydration and heat stroke, give your kids lots and lots of liquids all day. Make it a point to have them drink every 30 minutes or even an hour. It can be any form of liquid as long as they get enough supply.
My final tips is for you to keep a tab on what you have to watch out for. A single sunburn can cause a great risk for your child to have a skin disease called Melanoma if not properly prevented. Sunburns are NEVER okay for a child to have. Finally, your baby can get sunburned even during the cold climate because of the sun’s UV rays. So always be prepared and do preventive measures.