Summer is finally here and with some fun in the sun comes the worry of sunburn and sun protection for babies. As parents, we want to provide the best care and protection for our newborns and toddlers, especially when it comes to their delicate skin.
Sun protection is crucial, as the sun’s harmful UV rays can cause sunburn, and skin damage, and increase the risk of skin cancer later in life. However, with recent news about the dangers of certain chemicals in off-the-shelf sunblocks, I wanted to explore natural sun protection methods, focusing on alternatives to chemical-based products, to ensure your little one stays safe and comfortable under the sun.
Natural Sun Protection for Babies
Sun protection isn’t just about slathering on sunblock, but rather it’s about being smart about sun exposure and teaching our children to understand their own skin’s limits and how to make the best of this incredible gift that is the sun.
Here are a few simple things we can do to protect our babies from the sun:
Clothing and Hats
Dressing your little one in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers their arms and legs can provide excellent sun protection. Opt for tightly woven fabrics that offer better UV protection, preferably natural fabrics like cotton and linen to avoid extra perspiration. Don’t forget to accessorize with a wide-brimmed hat that shades their face, neck, and ears.
When possible, seek shade during peak sun hours, typically between 11 am and 3 pm. Shade from trees, umbrellas, or canopies can provide a much-needed respite from direct sunlight. Spending nap time in a cool space is also a good idea for restorative sleep.
Invest in a pair of baby sunglasses with 100% UV protection. It helps protect their sensitive eyes from harmful UV rays. Make them wear their sunglasses when the sun is really strong to reduce the risk of eye conditions caused by sun exposure.
Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide is a natural mineral that forms a physical barrier on the skin, reflecting and scattering UV rays. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 20% zinc oxide. Apply it generously to exposed skin, including the face, hands, and feet, at least 15 minutes before sun exposure.
Understanding Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
Benefits of Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide offers several advantages over chemical sunscreens. It provides immediate protection upon application, is less likely to cause skin irritation, and is effective against both UVA and UVB rays.
A lot of natural and organic skincare brands offer zinc oxide sunscreen, making it an overall better choice than classic chemical-heavy brands.
How to Choose a Safe and Effective Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
Opt for sunscreens with non-nano zinc oxide particles. Non-nano particles are larger and do not penetrate the skin. Additionally, choose sunscreens that are fragrance-free, paraben-free, and devoid of other potentially harmful chemicals.
Additional Sun Safety Tips
Timing Outdoor Activities
Plan outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are less intense. This reduces your baby’s exposure to harmful UV radiation.
Keep your baby well-hydrated, especially in hot weather. Offer water frequently to prevent dehydration. Also, apply soothing skin lotion or oil if any rash or burn appears.
So there you have it, protecting your baby from the sun’s harmful rays is a top priority. By utilizing natural sun protection methods such as clothing, seeking shade, sunglasses, and zinc oxide sunscreen, you can ensure your little one stays safe and comfortable while enjoying outdoor activities.
Want more from my blog? Check out Finding Your Balance: 5 Tips for Thriving Working Moms
Until next time, Tania xx