Protecting your baby from the sun

Essential information to rememberIt is always good to cover your child as much as possible (lightweight clothing and hat) and to keep him in the shade to protect him from the sun’s rays.

Photo: Patricia Riverin

Little ones should not be exposed to the sun without protection because their skin is very thin and burns easily. This means you’ll need to protect your child from the sun’s rays, which can cause sunburn, dry skin, and allergic reactions. Children with dark skin must be protected from the sun, too. It is important to keep children out of direct sunlight between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. This is especially important around noon when the sun is most intense.

Under 6 months – It is best to keep your baby in the shade and to protect him with clothing and a hat. Skin is very delicate at this age and applying sunscreen could cause allergic reactions.

6 months and up – Whenever your baby is outdoors, dress him in a hat and clothing that covers his arms and legs. About 30 minutes before going out, apply sunscreen to exposed body parts. Reapply every two hours and after swimming.

Up to 85% of UV (ultraviolet) rays can pass through clouds, so sunscreen is a must even when it’s cloudy. Choose a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF 30 or 50). Your pharmacist can help you find an appropriate one.

Eyes and the sun

The sun’s UV rays are dangerous to the eyes and can be reflected by sand, water, and snow.

The best way to protect your child’s eyes is to put a large brimmed hat or cap on his head.

Never seat your child in facing the sun. Shade is best.

If you decide to put sunglasses on your child, make sure they protect against UV rays before you buy them. Look for the words “100% UV protection” or “UV 400.”