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Protecting babies from the sun – sunscreen for your little ones

Sara Vandal, Centre-ville Brunet cosmetician Comments

Keeping your baby safe in the sun

Bébé jouant au bord de la mer

Ah, the sun! It’s so much fun to go for a swim with your baby, build castles in the sand or simply go for a walk. But you have to be careful – you love the sun but it can be a hazard!

All parents know that a baby’s skin is extremely sensitive. By being careful and applying a few recommended practices, you and your baby can safely enjoy the sun all summer long.

Your baby’s skin is fragile

Is the sun really a hazard for infants? Absolutely. Their skin-protection system is not developed yet. Their skin is more sensitive and thinner than an adult’s; as a result, it burns more easily.

The impact of sunbathing without protection

If your little one is exposed to too much sun, she can suffer sunburn before you even realize it. In addition to the pain it causes, sunburn can cause skin damage in infants as well as dehydration and fever. You really need to be careful!

How to prevent sunburn

To protect children aged less than one year from the harmful effects of the sun, we recommend the following tips:

  • Évitez tout simplement l’exposition directe au soleil. Recherchez l’ombre, abritez-vous sous un parasol, déployez l’auvent de la poussette.
  • Keep babies out of direct sunlight – in a shaded place, under a parasol or in a buggy or stroller equipped with a canopy.
  • The critical exposure period is between 11 AM and 4 PM: so, schedule long walks in the early morning or late afternoon and avoid the noonday sun.
  • If you can’t avoid the sun, make sure your baby wears a wide-brimmed hat and dress him in loose-fitting clothes that cover his arms and legs.
  • Apply sunscreen on all parts of the body exposed to the sun: hands, face, feet, neck, and ears.
  • • For a baby, a severe sunburn must be treated as an emergency requiring immediate medical care.

How to choose sunscreen

When choosing sunscreen for your baby, don’t just look at the price: the most expensive sunscreens aren’t always the most effective. Be sure to read the product details on the packaging to make an informed decision.

Protection from UVA and UVB rays

There are two kinds of ultraviolet rays that cause skin damage: UVA and UVB. Choose sunscreen that provides your child with protection from both.

Sunscreen’s SPF (or sun protection factor) measures protection against UVB rays only. Be sure to choose sunscreen with, at least, SPF 30. If your baby has very light skin, go with a higher SPF.

For effective protection from UVA rays, sunscreen must contain the following ingredients: Parsol 1789, Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL, Helioplex, Tinosorb. Read the packaging to find out if these ingredients are present. And when in doubt, speak to your cosmetician for advice.

How to apply sunscreen

Apply sunscreen at least 10 minutes before you go out. Of course, as a parent you won’t forget your baby’s face or arms, but spots such as the top of the foot or the back of the knee are also exposed – be careful not to forget them.

Sunscreen must be reapplied every two hours. If your baby goes in the water or perspires a good deal, you can apply sunscreen again as soon as you towel-dry him.

Careful, the sun can be sneaky at times

When skies are grey, don’t be fooled into thinking that the sun has gone away. It’s simply hiding behind clouds. You need to know that clouds don’t block UV rays. So, sun safety rules apply all the time, in good weather and bad.

In short, there’s no reason not to enjoy the sun with your baby. You just need to be careful. Have a great summer!

For you, I suggest

  • Mineral lotion SPF 50+ Avène
  • After-sun repair lotion Avène

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