Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. Everyone loves the sun, children included but if they are going to go out and have fun in it then it is important that you protect their delicate skin or they may get sunburnt.
At what age can my baby go out in the sun?
It is recommended that if your baby is under 6 months that you keep them out of direct sunlight, after this you can let them play in the sunshine ensuring that they are properly protected.
The sun is an important source of vitamin D for your baby, this helps your baby’s body absorb calcium which is needed for the healthy development of strong bones and teeth. A deficiency in vitamin D can cause rickets, affecting the way their bones grow and develop. Either playing outside or just having a short walk out in the sun every day will do them the world of good, so long as they are protected properly. Just bare in mind that the hottest time of day that the sun is out is between 11am and 3pm.
What do I need to know about suntan lotion?
Sun lotion should be of at least factor 15, the higher the factor, the better the protection. Apply the suntan lotion to every bit of your child’s body that is not protected from clothing, don’t forget their hands and feet as well as their little noses and ears! Put the suntan lotion on half an hour before your child goes outdoors to give it a chance to soak into the skin and reapply it every couple of hours or straight after they have played in water. Even if a suntan lotion says it is waterproof it is best to still reapply, as it will not be as strong as it was.
Babies have very sensitive skin so it is best to test the suntan lotion on a small area of skin first before you slather it over their whole body. Try and buy a suntan lotion with a small list of ingredients and as natural as possible, making it kinder to your child’s skin.
Sun Protection Clothing – what clothes are best?
Obviously the sun is hot and whilst it is best for your little one to wear clothing to protect them from the sun, don’t go too over the top otherwise they will get too hot!
It is advisable that your child wears a hat that shades their face, ears and neck. Some babies do not like wearing hats and enjoy playing the ‘I can pull my hat off!’ game…sometimes you may be able to hold the hat on for a few seconds until their attention is diverted. If your baby really does not want to wear a hat then don’t force them, try to either keep them in the shade or put suntan lotion or sunblock on their bald spots, rub it into their thin hair if you have too!
Shoulders are very sensitive in the sun so it is important to dress your child in a top that covers their shoulders on hot days and a loose pair of cotton trousers will keep them cool, and protect their legs too.
Should my baby wear sunglasses?
Sunglasses are not a necessity but they do protect their eyes from the sun. If you decide to get your child a pair it might be easier to encourage them to wear them from the age of six months, but again don’t force them to wear them if they really are not happy with them on their face.
Sunglass such as Kids Banz or Baby Banz fit very comfortably and the strap goes around the back of your child’s head to make them stay on better. Make sure that you keep the lenses clean for them, put their glasses on at the same time you put yours on and wait until you are outdoors to wear them.
Whilst it is important that you protect your child from the sun, make sure that you let them have fun in it too. Whip out the paddling pool, have a kick about or a picnic in the park, just be sure to enjoy the sun while it’s here!