Summer can be a tricky time for new parents. Your baby is at their most vulnerable, especially when it comes to the sun. Sunlight exposure has many health benefits for adults, but children should stay out of the sun as much as possible for their first 6 months, or risk sunburn — just one sunburn drastically increases the risk of melanoma (the deadliest skin cancer).
From the first day they’re born to the time they’re 6 months old, your baby’s skin is the most vulnerable it will ever be. Fortunately our friends at the Skin Cancer Foundation have provided several steps you can take to protect your new bundle of joy:
- The best approach is to limit your baby’s sun exposure. The sun is strongest between 10am and 4pm, so be especially vigilant during this time. If you’re taking your baby on a walk, be sure the sunshade on their stroller is up.
- Protective clothing can guard your baby’s skin from the sun’s rays. Lightweight, light-colored clothing with a tight weave is your best option, as the light colors will reflect the heat and the tight weave will cover more.
- A hat is always a must. One with flaps in the back (for neck protection) and a wide brim will provide maximum protection.
- Never be afraid to slather on the sunscreen. You’ll want one with at least 15 SPF, that is “broad spectrum,” meaning it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and reapply every hour. It’s important to note that when buying new sunscreen, be sure to first test it on the inside of your baby’s wrist to ensure there is no reaction.
If you’re interested in learning even more, give Any Baby Can a call at 512.454.3743.