Playing in the sun 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. They are far too undeveloped, and waiting until they are a little older is recommended to spend extended time outside in direct sunlight. Remember that light refracts, and reflects off multiple surfaces including sand, making it even more important to ensure a safe way to have your baby out in those environments.
Children Over a Year
When 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 is advisable to limit their time spent in direct sunlight by using a combination of methods, including staying under a large beach umbrella and using sunscreen. Keep in mind that even if a sunscreen is marketed as "child safe", it may still contain ingredients that can be harmful to very young and sensitive skin. For this reason, instead look for natural sunscreens made without chemicals.
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, an hour or less. Once you are back indoors, continue to protect your child's skin exposed to the sun with our lotion designed to calm and soothe skin.