Baby sun safety: How to protect your baby in the sun

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  • We all know how dangerous too much sun exposure can be, especially for babies

    Although it’s lovely to take your little bundle of joy out into the sun, it’s important to be extremely conscious of sun safety. Even in mild climates (such as the UK), a baby’s delicate skin can burn in less than 15 minutes so it’s important to be aware of the sun’s rays at all times.

    Not only is sunburn uncomfortable and painful, but it can increase the risk of skin cancer in later life, making sun safety very important.

    Here’s everything you need to know about protecting the delicate skin of your baby in the sun.

    Sun safety tips: How to keep your baby safe in the sun

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    Babies can be particularly susceptible to sun damage. Here are some guidelines to make sure they’re staying safe:

    • If your baby is under six months old, do not ever put them in direct sunlight
    • Be aware that the sun is at it’s highest between 11am – 3pm and once they are crawling only let them play in the shade in between those times
    • Always use sunscreen on your baby’s exposed skin and reapply throughout the day. The sunscreen should be above 15 SPF and effective against UVA and UVB
    • Give special attention to your baby’s shoulders and the back of their neck, as these are the most common areas to get sunburnt
    • Make sure you keep your little one well equipped with a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses to keep their face out of the direct sun
    • Attach a canopy or parasol to your baby’s pushchair to keep them in the shade whilst you’re out and about with them
    • Use a sunshade on your car windows to make sure your baby is totally protected whilst you’re driving

    What to do if your baby is sunburnt

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    Sunburn is skin damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. It usually causes the skin to become red, sore, warm, tender and occasionally itchy for about a week.

    If your baby gets sunburnt, it’s important to get them inside or in the shade as quickly as possible and then you can start treating the burn at home.

    Treating sunburn in babies:

    • Cool the skin down by giving your child a cool bath, shower or laying a cold flannel on the affected area
    • Sunburn can sometimes cause dehydration so give them plenty of fluids to avoid this happening
    • Apply soothing cream such as aftersun or petroleum jelly to keep the skin moist

    If your little one’s skin is blistering or swelling, or if they are experiencing a temperature or dizziness you need to seek medical assistance.

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