With summer around the corner, you are probably starting to think of how much time to spend outside. Be sure to keep these essential summer sun safety tips for babies in mind!
Whether you’re heading to the pool, planning a summer vacation, or just spending time outside; it’s important to stay safe in the sun. Now, most of us know what it means to be safe. But are you thinking about sun safety as well? For the most part, sun safety tips for adults are similar for kids. With babies, however, you may need to take a few more steps.
Summer Sun Safety Tips for Babies
Playing outdoors is essential for childhood development, but the dangers of sun burns and other sun-related illnesses can be a cause for worry in a lot of families. Small children are particularly susceptible to sunburn and other skin issues. Even though people want to protect their children from harm, well-meaning parents still forget that their children have not yet gained a substantial amount of physical defense against the environment around them.
Children Under 7 Months
If you’re out at the beach, the chances are that you will see some people out there with their 2 – 3-month-old babies.
It’s fairly common, and yet the truth is that these people don’t know that the sun can be extremely harmful to children of that age group. In fact, it really isn’t a good idea to take any children under 7 months to spend time in the sun at all. If they do, take precautions or limit their time in the sun.
They are far too undeveloped, and even the sunscreen that is marketed as child safe can be harmful to very young and sensitive skin. The best thing to do, is to wait until they are closer to a year old before you decide to spend extended time outside in direct sunlight.
It is also important to remember that light refracts, and reflects off multiple surfaces including sand, so there isn’t really any safe way to have your baby out in those environments.
Children Over a Year
Once your child has reached an age where they have built up some natural defense against light exposure, it’s time to start considering how they will be protected. It would be advisable to limit their time spent in direct sunlight by using a combination of methods. You can buy a large beach umbrella and use sunscreen to help your child to take breaks from sun exposure.
When they are under the shade, you can apply a fresh coating of sunscreen to exposed areas.
It’s important to remember that SPF is simply a measurement of how much UV radiation is being blocked, which means that your child won’t be protected absolutely.
Applying new sunscreen should be done at least once every 2 hours, but you might want to do it once every hour and 30 minutes. If they are getting in the water, the applications need to be more frequent. A recommended interval would be an hour or less.
The Importance of Sun Protection for All Ages
Most people love to go out and have fun in the sun, but before you can do that safely, there are a few things that need to be considered.
The sun, which is our source of light can be dangerous at times if the proper precautions haven’t been taken. Since this is a known issue, a number of products that have been created to protect you from the light coming through the atmosphere are widely available at almost any store, but why do you need it? Here are some things to know about the importance of sun protection.
The sun’s rays are great for a lot of different things like growing crops, but they also have a very destructive side.
Ultraviolet A light has the ability to damage skin and cause premature aging. This damage can cause oxidative stress on skin cells, and can manifest in a variety of cellular anomalies like carcinomas. This type of Ultraviolet light passes through glass, so you may be able to protect yourself using a UVA blocking film. When unprotected from the sun, these rays can penetrate deep into the layers of your skin.
UVB is somewhat different than UVA in that it can’t pass through glass, but it can be responsible for some of the more serious cancers like melanoma that appear on the surface of the skin.
This means that when you are out in the sun, you can be exposed to these rays during anytime of the day. If you want to avoid exposure, it is recommended that you stay out of the direct sun light from 9:30am to 5:00pm on most days. When you are unprotected, these rays will produce either a skin color change or a burn.
Even when the sun isn’t completely out, you are still at risk of exposure to the radiation coming from the sun.
This is particularly true when the weather is overcast. Water particles that are free floating in the air can refract the UVA and UVB in every direction making you an even more easy target for skin issues. Be sure to be mindful of how much time you spend in the type of weather to avoid burns.
Remember that depending on the density of the cloud, a large portion of the UVB radiation will still pass through. It is also important to be extra careful if you are near water, as the light reflects and causes a bad sunburn.