Top Five Ways To Keep Your Infant, Baby or Toddler Safe In the Sun
Every parent wants to protect their child as much as they possibly can. While we are quite aware of how to shield ourselves from the sun, it’s not often as clear what can we offer our children so that they can enjoy the outdoors without worry.
Buy a Pair of Sunglasses
UV rays can be extremely harmful to children’s eyes. Long term exposure to UV rays without sunglasses has been found to cause cataracts later in life.
The sun is strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM, so try to take your little one out to play either before or after peak time. “If you do go out between those times, make sure you apply the proper amount of sunscreen to your child, and try to stay in shaded areas,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board certified dermatologist and skin cancer specialist in Austin, Texas. Sunscreen is recommended for children over 6 months of age.
Put your child in light weight clothing that covers their arms and legs. “Choose a fabric that will breathe easily so your child doesn’t overheat,” Dr. Mamelak shares. “And remember, light colored clothing reflects heat.” A hat should also be an essential part of your child’s outdoor wardrobe, to aid in keeping the sun off their face and out of their eyes.
It is especially important for children to stay hydrated when venturing out in the summer heat. Children overheat more easily than adults, so if you plan on taking your baby out for an extended period of time, remember to pack plenty of water bottles and juice boxes. Most importantly, pay attention to your child’s cues, and make sure they drink plenty to stay hydrated.
Bring an Umbrella
If you want to take your little one for a day at the beach, don’t forget your umbrella! “It can be dangerous for toddlers, babies and infants to be left in direct sunlight too long,” says Dr. Mamelak. Put an umbrella up to provide shade and still get the full, fun experience of a day at the beach with your child.
Excess sun exposure and sunburns during childhood can put you at risk for skin cancer later in life. At Sanova Dermatology, we encourage all of our patients to enjoy the outdoors while staying safe in the sun! To learn more about the importance of protecting your child from the sun, feel free to contact us for more information.