Sunscreen is not recommended for infants under the age of 6 months
Young children have very sensitive skins. Sunscreens are not recommended for them because they are loaded with chemicals which babies’ skin are more likely to absorb.
For this reason, it is best to avoid direct exposure from the sun and dress infants accordingly : think long sleeves, light cotton clothing, hat and shade.
Keep in mind that young infants can overheat easily as opposed to older children and adults who can regulate their temperature – it is important to keep your baby hydrated with formula and breastmilk. Water is not recommended under the age of 6 months. Ideally, you would introduce water with food.
However, once babies reach the age of 6 months, using sunscreen to protect their sensitive skin is highly recommended.
Not all sunscreen are created equal. Seeing as you will need to apply a fair amount many times throughout the day, I recommend using a safe sunscreen for your baby with the least amount of toxic chemicals possible.
A list of 5 amazingly safe sunscreens for children 6 months and up
- Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine, Vanilla, SPF 30
- Green Beaver Kids Natural Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 40
- The Honest Company Honest Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
You will notice that these are mostly cream or stick versions. Indeed, sprays are usually more likely to contain more chemicals than regular sunscreen bottles.
If you want to learn more about how to make better choices for your family, visit www.ewg.org.
- Avoid going to the beach when the sun is high in the sky – usually between 10am and 3pm
- Cover them up : glasses, hat, clothing, anti-UV swimwear, or shirts for limited sun exposure
- Remember to reapply sunscreen regularly – every couple hours or after swimming or sweating profusely
- Keep in mind that a higher SPF doesn’t mean higher protection!
- Find a shaded spot and/or bring a sun tent for the youngest, or an umbrella for the whole family
- Watch for signs of dehydration – sleepiness, irritability, confusion, thirst – and offer water often and make it readily available for older children
- Fruits and vegetables which have a high water content are a great way to keep your littles hydrated ! Strawberries, watermelon, cucumber, celery, oranges, and cantaloupe for example make great snacks!
Have fun and stay protected!