Looking after your baby in the sun
Posted on 24/11/14 11:15 AM
If like me you grew up with Bony M’s “Brown girl in the ring” and brown Coppertone sunscreen bottles you somehow felt come summertime it was just better to be brown. Research now however overwhelmingly refutes this rationale and is slowly changing the tide on this way of thinking.
Because babies lack the tanning pigments known as melanin to protect their skin from the sun the best protection especially for babies 6 months and younger is to keep them out of the sun.
Use an organic, broad spectrum, non-nano particle, physical sunscreen made with zinc oxide with an SPF of between 15 and 35.
As always with any new product being used on your baby remember to patch test before using more widely on their skin.
Remember sunscreen is only one tool in your sun safe tool kit. Use it with knowledge i.e apply at least 15 minutes before going outside, any time after being in the water or if sweating excessively otherwise reapply at least 2 hourly while in the sun and apply liberally unless using on a baby.
What about Vitamin D?
Too little sun may contribute to a Vitamin D deficiency which is critical for growing and maintaining strong healthy bones and supporting a strong immune system. Between September and April it is prudent for everyone to be outside for short periods of time in the early morning or late afternoon with some skin exposed. This needs to occur without sunblock as sunblock prevents your body manufacturing vitamin D. This will ensure you receive enough ultraviolet radiation exposure to maintain healthy vitamin D levels. Between May and August some sun on your skin outdoors is important so your body can continue to make vitamin D. A daily walk or other outdoor physical activity in the hours around noon without sunblock and with face, arms and hands in the sun is recommended.
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