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Summer: Sun care for babies

by Kim Tang July 15, 2016

Summer: Sun care for babies

I have been sitting thinking of something interesting to share with you, and I came up with sun care for babies.  If your little one is like me they will be looking like a lobster in no time outside. (Even with sunscreen, I am red).

Why I thought I would mention this is that I had a problem with my 7-month-old son with the sun.  We were travelling in Palm Springs and I had made sure that both kids were covered in sunscreen, had hats on and out of the sun. What I didn’t realize is that they still were going to be affected by the sun.

So when we came back from sight seeing, I thought let’s all cool off in the hotel pool. So we jumped in and I placed the baby in the water and usually he would laugh and splash, but he started to scream uncontrollably.   He wouldn’t stop. So I took him out of the pool and back to the hotel room and he still wouldn’t stop screaming.  This was not like him at all so I took him to the hospital and they said he had heatstroke.  If you looked at him he had no color from the sun, he was hydrated (I thought) and looked absolutely normal.

Boy was I wrong. As a new mom I always was aware of the sunrays for a burn for my babies but didn’t think about the heat of the sun being a problem.

Doctors recommend that babies under the age of 6 months should stay out of the sun as much as possible, but we know that isn’t going to happen, so here are some things that you should remember every time you have your babies outside.

The sun is strongest between 10 am and 4 pm so make sure that your children play or are in the shade during this time.  This is especially true as babies can quickly suffer from the short and long term damage of sunburn and heatstroke, so keeping your baby safe in the sun is crucial. Sunburn can cause pain, fever, and dehydration.

Things to do before you head out in the sun- Remember babies can get sun burns in the shade, so make sure you protect them with the other items below. 

  1. Keep your baby in protected spots - Use the sunshade on your baby’s stroller or carriage.  Consider buying an inexpensive ($20.00) pop-up stroller shade that has built in UV protection; this will fit over your existing stroller. You can also get a pop up shade tent for the beach or park too!
  2. Dress your baby in protective clothing - Cover your babies arms and legs in lightweight, light –colored clothing (light colors reflect the heat and keep skin cooler), dark colors absorb the heat.   A hat is a must for all babies.  If your babies will wear them a pair of UV protective sunglasses would be very helpful.  There are products out there that are UV protective if you can afford them they work the best.
  3. Slather on the sunscreen - Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.    Look for the words “ broad spectrum” (what this means is the product protects against both UVA and UVB rays).  UVA rays are more likely to cause sunburn and UVA rays cause damage deeper in the skin.  Apply sunscreen between 15 to 30 minutes before leaving your home.  Reapply every two hours.

For babies and small children remember the tips of the ears, the back of the neck and the tops of their feet.

To avoid heat stroke –

  • Dress your baby in light weight, loose fitting clothes
  • Keep your baby in the shade whenever possible
  • Make sure the car is cooled off before you ride in it
  • Offer your baby plenty of liquids (breast milk or formula that provides plenty of hydration.

A Couple of hints to make it easy to enjoy the sun with your little ones.

  • Keep sunscreen in your diaper bag.
  • Also a hat and sunglasses
  • Also keep in your car an extra long sleeved, long-legged, lightweight outfit, just in case you decide to stop at the park or the beach on the way home from being out.

Have fun, keep safe and take lots of pictures so you have the memories forever.

About the blogger

Kim is the owner of Mia's moccs and the loving mother of 25-year old Alyssia and 22-year old Landon.  She's also Mia's grandma!