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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sweet Baby Skin

Do you have a small infant, or know someone else who has a baby under the age of 6 months? An interesting fact is that babies under 6 months of age are unable yet to produce a significant amount of melanin which provides our skin with sun protection, and their skin is too sensitive for sunscreen so that leaves them especially vulnerable to the sun's damaging effects. So what can you do? 

Here are the guidelines that the Skincare Foundation recommends for Infants:
0-6 months: 
  • Use removable mesh window shields to keep direct sunlight from coming in through the windows of your car or invest in UV window film, which can screen almost 100 percent of ultraviolet radiation without reducing visibility.
  • Take walks early in the morning before 10 AM or after 4 PM and use a stroller with a sun-protective cover.
  • Dress baby in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs.
  • Choose a wide-brimmed hat or bonnet that protects the baby's face, neck, and ears. A baby who wears a hat during the first few months will get used to having it on.

6-12 months: It's now safe to use sunscreen on babies.

  • Apply broad-spectrum, SPF 15+ sunscreen to areas left uncovered such as baby's hands. Many companies have tear-free formulas that won't sting baby's eyes.
  • If you are using a spray sunscreen, it should not be applied directly to the face; sprays should be misted into the hands, and then spread on the face.
  • Most importantly, sunscreen must be applied 30 minutes before going outside and reapplied every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating

I completely agree with these recommendations, and too often I see babies at the beach and outdoors with little or no sun-protective covering or clothing that protects from sun damage.

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