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What are the best ways to protect my baby in the sun?

19 doctor answers34 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Pediatrics 36 years experience
Keep them in shade.: Clothes, hats, and high SPF sunblocks are great, but children have a way of shedding all of them all over the place. Please remember that clouds do not make shade; scattered uv gets through them with plenty of punch to burn a baby.
Dr. Janesta Noland
Specializes in Pediatrics
Shade: We need to be very careful about preventing excessive sun exposure and sunburn. The best way to do this is with long sleeved shirts and hats. For babies, one can buy a full swim suit that has SPF 100 and has long sleeves and legs. Avoid sunscreen until after 6 months and always do a patch test before applying to a large area.
Dr. Melissa Arca
Specializes in Pediatrics
Clothing Shade Hat: Babies 6 months and younger should be kept out of direct sunlight. If necessary, sunscreen can be applied sparingly to exposed areas (hands and face). Think of the complete sun protection package: shade, protective clothing, hats, and sunscreen. Enjoy the great outdoors! just be sure to protect that delicate skin too.
Dr. Ali Hallaj-pour
Specializes in Pediatrics
Shade, Cover, Cream: Ideally stay away from the harmful rays between 11am-3pm when they are the most intense. When exposed though, use a hat, long sleeve brightly colored top and bottom, and sunscreen. Make sure your sunscreen has a broad spectrum (both uva and uvb) coverage. It should be applied 20 min before sun exposure to allow for skin absorption. And more importantly make sure to re-apply every 2-3 hours.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Cover up!: Babies under 6 months should not get much unprotected sun exposure. In general, try to avoid "peak sun hours"from 11-2, keep shaded, dress baby in hats, long sleeves or pants if possible. Use sunscreen on infants over 6 months on exposed skin. Remember the sun can reflect off sand and water too. Apply sunscreen 20 min before going out.
Dr. Faryal Ghaffar
Pediatrics 31 years experience
Sun exposure: Avoid long duration exposure to sun. Use hats. Sun screen lotion is safe to use for an infant 6 months and older. Use the brand that is hypoallergenic and is for infants/children).
Dr. Lawrence Rosen
Pediatrics 29 years experience
Shade: Most babies do well when they're not in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Some occasional sunlight is good for vitamin d, but if you're going to be in the sun for periods over 30 minutes or so, use a chemical free sunscreen. Typically the best ones contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients. Ewg.Org is a great resource for safer sunscreens.
Dr. Julia Lee
Specializes in Pediatrics
Cover and hydrate: Try to keep your baby out of the sun during 10am and 2pm when the sun's ultraviolet rays are strongest. Keep your baby in the shade, use a hat and uv filtered sunglasses when going outside. Sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher is recommended for babies 6 months and older. Remember to re-apply every two hours or more frequently if needed. Also give plenty of fluids to keep well hydrated.
Dr. Lisa Roberts
Pediatrics 24 years experience
Cover up: It is best to use a hat with a brim to prevent sunburns on the face. An infant may do well in a stroller with the top of the baby carrier covering the face. Sunscreen is helpful (with an SPF of at least 15) to prevent sunburns on exposed areas of the skin. Lastly, avoiding the sun-intense times of the day to be outside is preferable. Early morning and late afternoons are better than mid-day sun.
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Easy: Basically, in 2 ways. Use of "baby" sunscreens at all ages as recommended by the pediatric dermatologists and proper clothing such as hats etc. Also remember to keep your child well hydrated. And se protection all year round.
Dr. Laura Webb
Pediatrics 14 years experience
Cover baby: As much as you can try to stay out of the sun with your baby. Sunscreen isn't recommended until babies are 6 months of age. However, if you are in the sun make sure baby is fully covered. Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen are all musts. Remember to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and use a broad spectrum sunscreen for best coverage.
Dr. Syed Masood
Specializes in Pediatrics
Clothing, sunscreen: Keep the baby covered. If uncovered use sunscreen per directions.
Dr. Roy Benaroch
Pediatrics 28 years experience
Clothes & sunscreen: Avoid being in direct sun during the hottest times of the day, and cover skin that can be practically covered with cool, light clothing. Sunscreen can also be safely used on babies of any age.
Dr. Bert Mandelbaum
Pediatrics 25 years experience
Avoidance: Many sunblocks are effective against both uva and uvb radiation. The downside to sunblocks is that they have to be applied frequently and there is some debate about many of the ingredients in sunblocks and their safety. The safest route is sun avoidance- wearing hats and clothing to protect the skin. If you are going to be in the sun, make sure you apply a good sunblock liberally and often. http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/.
Dr. Kevin Windisch
Pediatrics 26 years experience
Stay out: Babies don't need a sun tan. The best thing to do is to keep your child out of the sun and in the shade.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 34 years experience
Stay in the shade: Babies sunburn easily. Provide shade for a baby. Baby strollers should have a cover to block the sun. Umbrellas can be used. Sun shades for car windows are sold at many stores. Hats are good if a baby is old enough to keep a hat on. Beyond providing shade, parents can put children's sunscreen on kids so they won't sunburn as easily.
Dr. Jeffrey Min
Specializes in Pediatrics
Hats and sunblock: We actually tell parents to try to have babies avoid the sun as much as possible for at least the first 6 months (due to sunburn increasing the risk of skin cancer in babies). After that, if your baby is exposed to sun, they should wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunblock (especially to hands/feet/neck/ears) of at least SPF 30.
Dr. Victoria Acharya
Specializes in Pediatrics
Cover up: First minimize time outside, especially from 10 am-3 pm. Cover baby with a physical uv blocking material, either clothes or an umbrella. Next best is sunscreen of at least 30 spf, applied at least 15 min prior to exposure.
Dr. Pamela Middleton
Pediatrics 41 years experience
Protective clothing: Babies should wear hats and protective clothing when exposed to the sun. Direct exposure to the sun should be avoided. If the baby is over 6 months of age a zinc oxide based sunscreen can be used.

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Last updated Jun 22, 2017
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