Protect your baby's delicate skin from the sun. Here's what you can do.
Your baby's skin is far more delicate and sensitive than that of an adult, and as such, it needs to be paid special attention to. Although your skin produces enough melanin to protect you from sunburn on a day out, your baby's skin does not, which is why your baby is susceptible to sunburn and all the problems associated with sun exposure including freckles and premature wrinkles.
Isn't sun exposure healthy for babies?
Parents often feel that it is healthy to expose children to the sun, however, there is absolutely no medical evidence that states such exposure should be direct. Even if your baby is indoors in a well lit and well ventilated room, he is getting sufficient exposure to sunlight. You need not place him directly under the rays of the sun.
Does sun exposure help with nappy rash?
You should remove your child's diaper and let him stay for a while in a well aired room. Fresh air, and not sunlight, plays a strong part in preventing and curing diaper rash.
Is my baby protected from the sun in a car?
Often parents neglect to protect their babies from the sun if they are traveling in a car. Although windows do provide a barrier against UV radiation, they do not afford adequate protection on longer journeys, so make sure your child is well protected.
How do I protect my child?
Although it is tempting to make your child wear as little as possible in the summer, if your child is going to be stepping out in the afternoon, let her wear clothing that covers her entire skin. The clothes should be loose fitting, and made from very light fabrics like linen, so your child does not feel warm despite the complete coverage.
Children love wearing sunglasses and will not need any encouragement from you to wear the glasses regularly in the sun. Get a pair of fun and funky sunglasses for your children so you can rest assured that their eyes are protected.
Choose a hat that shades your child's ears and neck area in addition to the scalp.
Avoid stepping out with your baby between 11:30 and 3, when the sun's rays are at their strongest.
Do you have a garden or an outdoor play area? Make sure the entire area is shaded. If this is not possible, provide shade for a part of the area. Grow trees in your garden, so when your baby is a little older, the trees too can provide shade for your child.
Apply sunscreen regularly.
Is sunscreen safe for babies?
There is no evidence so far that sun screen has any harmful effect on a baby's skin, although there is plenty of evidence as to the damage caused by UV radiation. So apply sunscreen to your baby's arms and face regularly. It makes sense to first test your baby's skin with the lotion to make sure your baby's skin does not react to it. If you feel your baby's skin is reacting to the sunscreen, try a sunscreen that is suitable for sensitive skin. This should not cause any problems.
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- The Indiaparenting Team