As the summer season kicks off, UCLA Health pediatrician Dr. Jay Joo offers advice on sun safety for babies.
Adults know they should cover up with hats, sunglasses and sunscreen when they’re in the sun. But babies’ skin is thinner and more delicate. What are the guidelines for them?
UCLA Health pediatrician Dr. Jay Joo says the best protection is to avoid direct sun exposure, especially during the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If that’s not possible, follow these tips:
- Cover up the baby’s skin with a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves and pants. Make sure the clothing is made of lightweight materials.
- If the baby will tolerate wearing sunglasses, you can try that too.
- For babies up to 6 months, it is OK to apply a small amount of sunscreen to exposed parts of the skin such as the hands. Do a test-patch first to make sure the sunscreen doesn’t irritate their skin.
- For babies age 6 to 12 months – and for older children as well – apply a liberal amount sunscreen on all exposed skin. Be sure to apply at least 15 minutes before heading outside. Reapply every two hours and after they swim or sweat.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30.
- If the baby does get too much sun, soothe their inflammation by applying a cool compress or a calamine or aloe-based lotion.
Visit www.uclahealth.org/mattel for more information on children’s health.