Cover Where Possible
Baby tans might look cute, but they’re actually a mark of sun damage. Dark pigmentation is skin’s way of trying to shield itself, and it’s a sign that your baby is getting too many rays. Wherever possible put long sleeves and long pants on your baby. Always, always wear a hat in sunlight.
Use Baby-Safe Sunscreen
You’ll have a harder time covering the skin on hands, feet, and face, which is where sunscreen comes in. Always look for products that say sunscreen(sunblock is an illegal misnomer not approved by the FDA), and make sure they’re broad-spectrum to shield against both UVA and UVB rays. Buy the kind specially formulated for infants and toddlers.
Note that since you can’t use products on babies younger than 6 months, you’ll need to use alternative measures, like draping a blanket over a car seat.
Slather Regularly When in the Sun
If you head to the beach or the lake, keep that sunscreen coming. It’s not enough just to apply in the morning; you’re supposed to reapply every two hours or so. While you might play fast and loose with your own skin (though you shouldn’t), evidence suggests that cancer may come from burns in childhood, so don’t let that happen.
Keep a Sun Kit on Hand
Your sun kit should include hat, extra shirt, and sunscreen, and go with you wherever you go. It’s also smart to keep extra kid-safe sunscreen in the car.
That’s it! If you have an idea for baby skin protection that we haven’t thought of, please let us know.