Fun in the Sun

Sunscreen Safety for Babies

We’ve brought this one out of our archives to share again. Summer sun safety is so important, we wanted to share this post with you.

Since summer is officially here, we thought we’d talk about summer safety today. It is so tempting to get up in the morning, look outside at the hot asphalt and say, “today we are going to the beach” and then grab swimsuits, towels and go. With little ones (and not so little ones) we have to take some precautions to save precious baby skin.

Last week the Environmental Working Group published their 2010 report on the Best Beach and Sport Sunscreens on the market. Some of the best brands listed are available in Canada and you might be surprised to read about some of the popular brands that are available on your grocery store shelves, I know I was.

Here’s a few great tips from their site for basic sun safety for infants and toddlers:

Kids are more vulnerable to sun damage. A few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer. The best sunscreen is a hat and shirt. After that, protect kids with a sunscreen that’s effective and safe. Take these special precautions with infants and toddlers/children:


Infants under 6 months should be kept out of direct sun as much as possible. Their skin is not yet protected by melanin. So when you take your baby outside :

  • Cover up with protective clothing, tightly woven but loose-fitting, and a sun hat.
  • Make shade with a stroller’s canopy or hood. If you can’t sit in a shady spot, put up an umbrella.
  • Avoid midday sun — take walks in the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Follow product warnings for sunscreen on infants under 6 months old – Most manufacturers advise against using sunscreens on infants or urge parents and caregivers to consult a doctor first. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that small amounts of sunscreen can be used on infants as a last resort when shade can’t be found.

Toddlers and Children

Sunscreen plays an essential part of any day in the sun. However, young children’s skin is especially sensitive to chemical allergens as well as the sun’s UV rays. When choosing a sunscreen, keep these tips in mind:

  • Test the sunscreen by applying a small amount on the inside of your child’s wrist the day before you plan to use it. If an irritation or rash develops, try another product. Ask your child’s doctor to suggest a product less likely to irritate a child’s skin.
  • Slop on sunscreen and reapply often, especially if your child is playing in the water or sweating a lot.
  • Choose your own sunscreen for daycare and school. Some childcare facilities provide sunscreen for the kids, but you can bring your own if you prefer a safer, more effective brand. Share EWG’s safe sunscreen tips and product suggestions with your child’s caregiver.

If you’re wondering where your current sunscreen is in the ratings, they have a handy Find your Sunscreen database too.

So slather on the sunscreen, grab your swimsuits and towels and have fun at the beach!

Julie @ Little Monkey Store


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