Save Your Baby From The Perils Of Sunlight

No longer do mothers have to worry about deficiency of vitamin D in their newborns if they are not exposed to the sun. Studies have proved that infants need not be exposed to direct sunlight for production of vitamin D. Rather, we have to be more aware of the fact that the skin of babies, especially of infants below the age of six months, are especially vulnerable to sun damage as their skin possesses less melanin, the pigment that provides some protection from the sun. Therefore, it is pertinent that we our protect our babies from the sun’s burning rays.

A study has shown that 50 to 80% of UV-related damage occurs during childhood and adolescence. While sunburn can cause a lot of discomfort to the baby in the form of pain, fever and dehydration, it also raises the risk of wrinkles and, more alarmingly, of skin cancer later in life.

Sun Safety Measures for Your Little One

Screen Her From The Sun

Choose a sunscreen for your baby that comes with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 with the words “broad spectrum” on the label. The American Academy of Pediatrics has now allowed the use of sunscreen for infants 6 months and younger. “Broad spectrum” protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you take your baby out in the sun and reapply the sunscreen every two hours. Make sure you cover all exposed areas of your baby’s skin. Use the sunscreen even on cloudy days.

Protection Is Always Better Than Cure

The rays of the sun are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. So, make sure that your baby stays indoors for these six hours. Also, remember that even when the day is cloudy and the sun is visible, your baby can still get sunburnt because it is the sun’s ultraviolet rays and not its heat that does the damage.

Another way in which you can protect your child from direct sunlight is by investing in UV window film for your car which will protect your baby from 100 percent ultraviolet radiation when she is sitting in the car. In addition, it is important that you get regular check ups done both for yourself and for your baby. A timely detection of skin damage can go a long way in protecting you from more serious problems, such as skin cancer.

Dress Up To Beat The Sun

Always cover your baby’s arms and legs before taking her out in the sun. Choose light colors as they reflect the heat as opposed to dark colors that absorb the heat. Also, make sure the baby’s clothing is tightly woven as it protects the baby better from the heat. And of course, a hat is a must even if your baby has a full head of hair. Choose a hat that protects the neck, as well as provides shade to the face.
With a little effort and an adherence to the precautions stated above, your child can safely enjoy the outdoors.

Sources & Further Reading:

https://unsplash.com/search/baby?photo=b8p8nqFshyY
https://unsplash.com/photos/vetYLH9Rnmg
https://unsplash.com/photos/aZW0bSblQ7c
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1440-1754.1999.00362.x/full