Our skin is very important, and it is extremely important for children’s skin to be protected. The sun has very harmful UV rays. When a child is first born, this is when it is most important to protect their skin. There’s evidence to suggest that sun exposure and sunburns during childhood multiply the risk of one day developing skin cancer, also melanoma. In the U.S. there are approximately 76,700 new cases of skin cancer in children. And for adults 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
So how can you keep your baby or even child from being exposed to the sun? Make sure your child’s car window has UVA blocking glass, most don't, but you can buy removable covers. You can also get a professional protective window film, but it is important to make sure you check your local regulations before you get your windows done. Keep you child in clothing that covers most of their skin as well, and at 6 months you can start to use sunscreen.
When it comes to sunscreen use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that offers a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Make sure they you test the sun screen on your baby’s wrist to see if it irritates them. If not, you can apply, if it does you might want to find one that wont cause irritation. According to skincancer.org, “Look at the active ingredients; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are good choices, because these physical filters don’t rely on absorption of chemicals and are less apt to cause a skin reaction.”
For all of us we must use sunscreen, toddlers and up. Wearing more clothing can protect us just like it protects babies. The only way to protect your skin is to cover it any way that you can and make sure that you do not expose babies to the sun for long hours.