The Summer months are here, and of course, it’s the perfect time to get outside with your baby. Whether playing on the grass or going for walks with the buggy, it’s so much more enjoyable to have days out as Mother and Baby when the sun is shining.
However, I’m not a Mum myself yet, but I’ve seen copious amounts of my friends worry about babies getting sunburn or sunstroke, due to their skin being so young and fair.
I did some research around this topic, as I felt it would make an ideal article for all the other Mum’s out there constantly researching tips and advice about keeping their babies safe in the sun. The best advice of all is that while your baby is still tiny, it’s best to keep a small baby completely out of direct sunlight.
Once your baby turns six month old, they tend to want to be crawling around and are more playful. This is the time they should sit and play in the shade, or if exposed to any direct sunlight, be fully covered up and wear a sun hat for protection. Loose fitting clothes and sunscreen are a must.
If you can though, until your baby reaches one years old, avoid having them play in the sun when the sun is at it’s hottest during the hours of 11am and 3pm.
Here’s some commonly asked questions…
How can I keep the sun away from my babies skin on holiday?
Utilise any shaded areas you can, and if there isn’t much, create it yourself. Seek umbrellas or find a canopy, and if there aren’t any, come equipped on your holiday with a sun tent.
If your baby isn’t crawling around yet, they should be fine to stay in their buggy or carry seat in a shaded tent. These are great options for the beach. If they are crawling or walking, try to encourage playing in the shaded areas as much as possible, and keep their skin covered with lightweight, loose clothes ideally made from breathable cotton.
Don’t go anywhere in the sun without being equipped with a wide-brimmed baby hat! These are fabulous for shading against the sun and help protect the face, neck and ears.
Do they offer sunglasses for babies?
Yes, there are many retailers who offer an array of baby sunglasses. These will protect their sensitive eyes and you don’t need to be expensive, either. However, do look for good quality wraparound glasses which prevent the sun from all angles and help keep the sunglasses on.
A few things to look for when shopping sunnies for babies: look out for
the CE Mark and British Standard (BSEN 1836:2005), ideally a UV 400 label, and any adjustable rubber or neoprene straps which help secure the sunglasses onto the babies head.
Another little hack is to remember that most prams and buggies allow for a sun attachment and canopy to be attached, protecting the baby from the sun when in the pram or pushchair. You can check out a range of quality push chairs, prams and attachments online at reputable stores, and it’s worth bearing in mind choosing a pram or stroller that is both quality made, lightweight for you as a Mum, and has everything you need to protect your child.
An ideal place to start is by looking at silver cross by kiddies kingdom, who actually offer a whole array of products for you and your baby,
What sunscreen is best to use on babies?
It’s only really ideal to use sunscreen once your baby has reached six months old, in which lotions and sprays are ideal. There are lots that have been specially formulated for babies and children, from safe ingredients and offer effective protection.
Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15. There are special children’s sunscreen lotions that go up to SPF 50, which tend to be thicker to apply, but you should feel safer using these as they won’t need to be re-applied as often. Be aware to check the labels on the sunscreen brand to that states that the sunscreen is a broad-spectrum brand, ideally offering a four-star or five-star rating. This indicates that a good level of UVA and UVB protection is there.
Experts say that you should aim to apply a plum-sized serving of sunscreen to your baby, obviously apply more if your baby is on the larger side. It’s always best to over apply than under apply though, if you are worried you are applying too much or too little!
Try to remember to apply the sunscreen to your little ones around 15 minutes before they go outdoors. One thing to be cautious of is that if your baby has any skin conditions like eczema or sensitivity, it’s crucial to check the ingredients list thoroughly for anything that could potentially cause a skin reaction.
How do you treat baby sunburn?
Unfortunately, this can happen, as much as you’ll be trying to avoid it. A babies skin is so delicate, but try not to go into complete panic mode. It could take several hours to show up or the pain starts to kick in, so it might not be until the evening that you notice it.
The first action to take is to soak a cloth or towel in cool water. Make sure to wring it out first and then lightly place onto the areas of burn. Keep it in place for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse in fresh cool water and repeat.
You can also give your baby a bath in cool tepid water, helping to reduce the heat coming from their skin. Once dry, apply a natural moisturer, like aloe vera, or an emollient to soothe and add moisture to the skin.
If your baby’s sunburn is severe and you are concerned the burn could be bad, do contact your GP.