San Francisco may be known for its fog and overcast days, but that doesn’t mean that the sun’s UVA and UVB rays aren’t harmful to your infant’s skin. As part of your infant care routine, you should make sure that you are protecting your baby from the sun, whether it’s sunny or grey in San Francisco. Below are some tips from the doctors at GetzWell Pediatrics for safeguarding your baby’s sensitive skin.
• Always Apply Sunscreen on Older Babies
For babies over six months old, it’s important to apply sunscreen when you take them outside. Whether you are going to the park, the beach, or a neighborhood stroll, apply a mineral based sunscreen of at least 15 SPF, and reapply throughout the day. We think it’s important to use non-toxic sunscreen options and encourage parents to use the Environmental Working Group’s sunscreen database to guide purchases. We do offer our favorite sunscreen picks for babies and kids in our two offices.
• Avoid Sunscreen on Babies 6 Months or Younger
While sun awareness is an important part of newborn care, sunscreen isn’t recommended for babies younger than 6 months. In place of sunscreen, try to keep your newborn’s skin covered with long-sleeved clothing and hats and reasonably restrict time spent in direct sunlight.
• Don’t Forget To Apply Sunscreen Before You Go Out
As you’ve probably already learned with other aspects of newborn care–preparation is everything. And such is the case with sunscreen. Apply sunscreen to your baby’s exposed skin before leaving the house. That way you can be confident that your baby will be protected as soon as you step outside.
• Remember That Sunscreen Washes Off in the Water
If you plan on taking your baby to a pool or the beach, remember that sunscreen is not entirely waterproof and can easily wash off. Continue to reapply sunscreen to your baby if he or she gets wet, even if it hasn’t yet been an hour since the last application.
• Protect Your Baby’s Face
An infant’s face is especially prone to sun damage because it is the area most exposed to the sun. As part of your baby care routine, we recommend applying additional sunscreen with zinc oxide to your baby’s face. For extra protection, try adding a sun-shading hat and sunglasses to your baby’s beach attire.
• Wear Sun Protective Clothing
If you plan to be out in the sun for an extended period, in addition to applying sunscreen hourly, dress your baby in sun-protective clothing. Many clothing retailers, both online and in San Francisco stores, sell sun protective clothing made from UV-blocking material.
• Limit Outside Exposure During Peak Sun Hours
The sun is at its strongest between 10am and 3pm, especially during the summer months. We recommend limiting your babie’s outdoor exposure during this block of time whenever possible. And should you need to venture out during peak hours, just remember to follow the important protective tips above.
Call Us for More Newborn Care Sun Tips
If you have additional questions about how to protect your newborn from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, then give us a call. You can reach us at our San Francisco offices at any time by calling (415) 826-1701.