Sun Safety for Babies
Summer weather is here! There is no reason to stay inside. With a little planning, you and your baby can enjoy the outdoors.
Tips to make your outings safe and enjoyable:
- Baby’s skin is delicate. Avoid direct sun exposure, especially during the peak heat hours (10am-2pm). Choose a well shaded area or use an umbrella. A wide brimmed hat will protect baby’s face and neck.
- If your baby is less than 6 months old and you are not able to avoid the sun, use sunscreen on small areas such as your baby’s hands and feet. If your baby is over 6 months, you can apply sunscreen to all areas, but be careful when applying around the eyes.
- Just like adults, babies are thirstier on hot days. Feed your baby frequently. Breast milk is 88% water making it an excellent choice for hot summer days. If you are formula feeding, take extra with you to help quench baby’s thirst. Water supplements are not recommended for babies under 6 months of age.
- Your baby’s ability to regulate temperature is still developing. Protection from heat as well as the sun is important. Baby’s feet and hands may feel cool but if the back of your baby’s neck is sweaty, your baby is too warm. As a general guideline, your baby will need one more layer of clothing than you need. Choose lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Babies should never be left alone in a vehicle, even for a minute. Enclosed vehicles can quickly become dangerously hot.
- A bug screen over your stroller or carrier is a chemical-free way to prevent insect bites. Insect repellent with DEET should not be used on infants less than six months of age.
Get out and enjoy the summer weather with your baby.
Updated June 9, 2016
References and More Information:
- “Guidelines for Offering Water to Breastfed Babies.” KellyMomcom, 31 Mar. 2016. Web.
- “Insect Repellents: How to Protect Your Child from Insect Bites.” Caring for Kids. Canadian Paediatric Society, Mar. 2012. Web.
- “Sun Safety: Information for Parents About Sunburn & Sunscreen.” HealthyChildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, 21 Nov. 2015. Web.
About the authors:
Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.