Baby's First Year · Parenting

Taking baby outside? Be sun safe!

Baby sitting up under a blue umbrella for shade

Years ago I had a terrible experience of suffering from second degree sunburns on my entire face after enjoying 2 hours of outdoor activities. It was a sunny afternoon and I didn’t feel the heat due to the gentle breeze constantly sweeping over my face.

Your baby’s skin is far more sensitive and they are more prone to develop sunburns from sun overexposure.

Did you know?

  • Sun rays can reach your baby on cloudy days.
  • UV light can bounce off surfaces such as snow, water or glass, while hitting your baby’s skin with increased sun light intensity.
  • Baby’s eyes are vulnerable to UV (ultraviolet) damage.
  • Applying baby oil on your baby’s skin before taking baby outdoors increases baby’s risk to a sunburn.

Sun safety recommendations:

1. Time of Day

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Limit time in the sun when the UV index is 3 or higher, usually between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Avoid bringing baby outdoors during peak UV hours.
  • Avoid long outdoor time with your baby at the beginning of the season. Gradually increase the time over a period of several days or weeks.

2. Shade

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Seek shade or make shade. Keep babies younger than 1 year of age out of direct sunlight.
  • Use a stroller with a sun-protective cover, a UV protective tent, a large sun umbrella to cover your baby, or find a natural shade such as awnings or trees.
  • If you are driving, use removable mesh window shields or a UV window film in your car to protect your baby from direct sunlight.

3. Cover Up

BeSunSafeBannerOL.inddWear clothes that cover as much skin as possible or UV-protective clothing. Wear a brimmed hat or baseball cap with flaps that cover the head, neck and ears.

  • Loose, lightweight, breathable long-sleeved cotton clothing helps to keep baby’s skin cooler.
  • Tighter knit fabric provides better sun protection as less UV gets through the fabric holes.

 Enjoy outdoor time with your baby while protecting your baby from the sun

4. Sunscreen

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Apply plenty of sunscreen with SPF 30 or more, labelled ‘broad spectrum’ and ‘water resistant’. Reapply when needed. Use a sunscreen lip balm. Sunscreen may be used on babies over 6 months of age, avoid mouth and eye areas.

Speak with your Health Care Provider before using sunscreen if your child is less than 6 months old.

Apply generously and reapply often. Don’t forget baby’s nose, ears, cheeks and tops of feet.

Test a small amount on your baby’s inner arm to check for possible adverse reactions to the product.

Sunscreen protects babies against the sun’s UV rays which are harmful. Those that contain ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide protect against the two damaging components of sunlight: UVA and UVB.

5. Sunglasses

BeSunSafeBannerOL.inddWear close fitting/wrap-around sunglasses with UV 400 or 100% UV protection. Children’s and babies’ sunglasses should be unbreakable.

Questions about sun safety for you and your family? eChat with our Public Health Nurse or call (416) 338-7600.

Comment below and share your favourite outdoor activity with baby.

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