The Best Ways to Protect Your Baby from the Sun
As a new parent, there are thousands of brand new worries on your mind each day—how to care for your baby’s skin shouldn’t be one of them. Always being prepared for the elements will ensure you will remember this summer for all the best reasons. At CSP, Inc., we are proud to help families like you add new additions and want to bring you these baby skin care tips to help you care for your precious little one this summer.
Many babies love playing in the water, and a trip to the pool or beach will be a welcome retreat for the whole family to escape the heat. But before you go, make sure you have all of the essentials:
- Baby-specific sunscreen, SPF 30 or above
- Hat and sunglasses for baby
- Plenty of snacks and liquids for the day
- Umbrella or another option for constant shade
Even though it’s hot outside, covering up as much of baby’s skin as possible with light-colored clothing and swimwear is the best option for their sensitive skin.
When choosing the best baby sunscreen, there are many brands that will get the job done. Look for sunscreen that is “broad spectrum”, meaning it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. The most important thing to remember is to keep reapplying it every two hours or as soon as you towel your baby off after going in the water. Use sunscreen every time you take your baby outdoors, even if it’s cloudy!
If your baby is younger than 6 months old, breast milk and formula will provide the hydration they need. Babies over 6 months of age should be offered water while outside in addition to breast milk and formula.
Watching for Heat Exhaustion
You can lather on sunscreen and keep your baby in the shade as much as possible, but it’s still important to watch out for signs of heat stroke.
Riding in a hot car can increase the risk, so ensure the car is adequately cooled off before hitting the road. Never leave your child in the car unattended for any reason. Even a few minutes in a hot car can rapidly increase an infant’s internal body temperature and cause heat stroke.
Signs of heat exhaustion will come before heat stroke, and if your baby has heat exhaustion, you may notice the following signs:
- A high temperature with no sweating
- Red, dry skin
- Rapid, shallow breathing
If you suspect heat exhaustion that hasn’t progressed to heat stroke, bring your child indoors and give him breast milk, formula, or water. A cool bath will also help lower his body temperature. If you don’t see an improvement, take him to the doctor or the emergency room right away.
If any of these symptoms seem severe or if your baby has become unconscious, call 911. While waiting, bring down your child’s internal body temperature as quickly as possible by moving him to a cool room, undressing him, and sponging him down with a cool washcloth while fanning him.
What to Do in Case of Sunburn or Heat Rash
If your baby does end up getting sunburned, take the following steps:
- Apply a cold, wet washcloth for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day until redness goes away
- Soothe the skin with a mild hypoallergenic moisturizer and aloe vera gel
If the burn appears to be anything but mild, consult a doctor.
Heat rash can be very itchy and uncomfortable, but will usually fade within a week. To help your baby with discomfort, give him a lukewarm bath with mild soap. Avoid powder and lotion, since this will further block pores on the rash.
Freedom for Fun in the Sun
Having a new baby doesn’t mean you need to lock yourself in an air-conditioned room until the summer sun is gone. You can still have fun outdoors by using the right precautions and protection for your little one. The risk of heat stroke or sunburn is scary, but you don’t need to worry as long as you’re prepared for the heat and sun by following the tips laid out on this page. Every baby is a miracle, and at CSP, Inc., we want to help you enjoy your little miracle, no matter the season.