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How To Correctly Apply Sunscreen On Your Baby’s Skin

How To Correctly Apply Sunscreen On Your Baby’s Skin

2 May 2022 | 5 min Read

Reema Shah

Author | 644 Articles

Babies have delicate skin and it is prone to sunburns. That’s why it is important to apply sunscreen on your baby’s skin before you step out.

Applying sunscreen to your baby is a must throughout the year, anytime she/he is outdoors. This includes the winter season and cloudy days as well, because the sun’s rays can cause serious burns and clouds do not block the harmful UV rays. 

In order to keep your little one protected, use a baby-safe sunscreen. But with the different sunscreens available, choosing the right one for your baby can be tricky. Also knowing how to apply the sunscreen correctly is what helps to protect your baby from the harsh rays of the sun.

Here is a list of useful information that may help you with correctly choosing and applying sunscreen for babies.

How To Apply Sunscreen To Babies 

Apply sunscreen on your baby 30 minutes before sun exposure. Even if the sunscreen is waterproof, you will need to reapply if your baby sweats or gets wet. Additionally, reapply the sunscreen once every two hours if the baby is exposed to sunny weather outside for longer.

Depending on the age of your baby, there are different sunscreen recommendations. So, keep the age in mind before you start applying sunscreen to them. 

  • Newborns and Babies Under 6 Months 

Pick a baby-safe sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15. Apply to the areas of the baby’s body like the back of the hands, top of the feet and the face. Apply a small amount to the exposed areas like the nose, ears and other parts of the body. Apply a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher to protect the lips as well.

  • Babies 6 Months and Older

Take about half a shot glass quantity and spread liberally all over the exposed skin areas about 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure, with SPF 30 to 50.

Protect the baby against sunlight with a hat along with sunscreen / Credit – Canva

Things to Keep in Mind When you Apply Sunscreen on your Baby

Patch test a small amount of sunscreen on your baby’s skin 48 hours before you head out in the sun to test for any irritation. Talk to your paediatrician in case your child develops a rash.

Additionally, when applying sunscreen around your baby’s face be extra careful. If they are squirmy, wait for them to be calm, to avoid the product from getting into their eyes. Use a clean damp cloth to wipe off the sunscreen from the eyes in case it does. 

How to Pick the Right Baby-Safe Sunscreen?

When picking sunscreen for your baby, consider these factors:

  • Pick a formula specifically made for babies preferably waterproof.
  • Avoid ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as these are hypoallergenic and can cause rashes.
  • Look for the term “broad-spectrum,” in the label as those sunscreens protect against both UVB and UVA rays.
  • Pick a sunscreen with an SPF between 30 and 50. It should not be lower than 15. However, experts recommend avoiding SPF above 50 as they are not more effective than the ones with lower SPF. Furthermore, parents might associate higher SPF does not need reapplying which is not the case. 
  • Steer away from sunscreens that have insect repellents in them as they are comparatively less effective. Should your baby need an application of insect repellent, first apply the sunscreen and then spray the repellent

Protecting the Baby from the Sun

While you should not miss applying sunscreen to your baby, here are a few tips to protect your baby from the sun-

  • Whenever possible, keep your baby in an area that has a shade.
  • Cover your baby’s skin as much as you can with loose clothing. However, the material should not be see-through.
  • Keep babies under six months of age hydrated with breastmilk and additionally you can feed babies over six months of age some water too. 
  • Between 10 am and 4 pm which are the peak sun hours, stay indoors as much as possible.  
  • If your baby can keep a wide-brimmed hat on, do make them wear it. You can also pick a pair of sunglasses which have UVA and UVB protection for your baby.
  • Use the shade provided in the baby’s stroller to give them shade. Do not use a blanket or a cloth to cover the top of the stroller as it has the risk of overheating and suffocating your child. 

Talk to your paediatrician, in case your baby develops rashes or has sensitive skin before you pick the right sunscreen. Keep in mind that irrespective of age, it is important to apply sunscreen to your baby.

Cover image source – The Skin Cancer Foundation

DISCLAIMER: We have taken steps to check the accuracy of the information & practices shared above; however, it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. Please check with either your doctor, or an expert, before trying any suggestion, practice, or medication mentioned here.

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