33 answers

Sun Protection

How paranoid should I be about the sun when going on little jaunts and walks with my 6 month old? I have her wear a hat and sometimes sunglasses but the rest of her skin is "exposed" to the sun especially on walks with the dogs. She is a little hot box and sweats a lot so I keep her in skirts, shorts and no socks. Should I be using a sun block on her legs and arms? If so, any one have any recommendations? We will be heading to the beach in June so I might as well get a clue now!

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Hi K.,
Sun Screen and more Sun Screen most certianly. It's a tough job, I know, getting lotion on those wiggly little ones but, these days it's a necessity and a good habit to starting doing it every morning when you change her diaper and get her dressed all year long. As for brands, I'm still trying to find the best one for my 3 year old, my little one (21 months) gets vanicream because of her eczma--it works well, just a little pricey if it's not necessity.
good luck.

Dear K. I, My next door neighbor's little girl had a skin cancer area removed. It was very upsetting to the childs family at the time. Luckily they caught it in time and the girl, now a teenager, is fine. She is an advocate of sun protection. I have always used protection on my kids and they are fine so far. Hope this helped

Hi K., i have a 3 year old boy and have been using California Baby sunscreen since he was a baby. I pretty much put the sunscreen all over his body (or the exposed parts = arms, legs, neck, ears, etc) and face. You can buy this product at Whole Foods or order online at www.californiababy.com. It has organic ingredients, water resistant and no deet.
Have fun in the sun... ;-)

- A. p -

More Answers

Hi K.,

I am an RN as well as a home-based business owner of an incredible company - Arbonne International. I believe from a personal and professional perspective that you should be using sunscreen on the exposed areas of skin on your little girl. Research shows that it can only take one severe burn to predispose one to skin cancer. It also sounds like you are taking alot of other good precautions with a hat and sunglasses. My company has a really phenomenal baby care line of products that also includes a sunscreen with an SPF of 30+. Our products provide pure, safe and beneficial results. Our baby sunscreen provides maximum protection for sensitive skin with key incredients of oats, shay butter oils and aloe.
If I can provide any other information for you or if you decide you would like to try our products, please contact me. Good Luck! Enjoy every moment; they fly by!
Sincerely,
L. Parker

She needs sunscreen if her skin is exposed. "They" say it's safe for babies 6 months and older and "they" also are thinking a little isn't as harmful as they thought to those under six months. So YES! Use sunscreen!

Yes, she needs sun protection AS WELL AS YOU! Even 6 months out you can still be prone to developing a 'mask' of motherhood due to your hormones and her skin is so new that she does not have any melanin to protect her. I understand your fear of putting 'chemicals' on your baby; trust me, I have had two premature babies & feared taking them outside of our house for months! But, everyone does needs some sunlight. I have done a a lot of personal research and highly recommend Arbonne Baby Care Sunscreen. The stuff is fantastic! It is SPF 30 and I use it on myself, my kids and my husband who is a cop. He used to get horrible sun burns on his neck, even in winter but since I gave him the Arbonne sunscreen, no more sunburns. And he only applies it once a day! Check out Arbonne.com or feel to call me at home. I'd be happy to get some to you.
E. St.Clair
H:###-###-####
www.arbonne.com, consultant #16159984
P.S. I wouldn't sell it if I didn't use it - I swear by this stuff!

Hey K.,
You should use sunblock. Now that she is 6mos., use any one you like for kids. Coppertone(pink bottle)kids is safe for 6mos. and up. My little one was 5 mos. old when we went to the beach last year, and I covered her head to toe in sunscreen, hat, sunglasses..etc. It went well, no burns at all. Good luck!

sunblock is always a necessity....either way you look at it, it is something little we can do to help protect them.

You should be extremly paranoid when it comes to the sun. Teach them early that sunscreen is important. You wouldn't hold your child under scolding hot water would you? Then why let him/her fry in the sun and get a burn just as bad?
I was 32 when I was diganoised with Baisl Cell carmonoma.(a type of skin cancer) I grew up not using sunscreen, and had lots of bad burns when I was a child. I now have a scare under my eye to remind me to wear sunscreen and apply it to my children every day and I pray that there aren't more to follow.

Hi, K.! You are right to be concerned about the sun! I worked for my local health department in the cancer prevention department; this is what I've learned: Keep the baby out of the sun between the hours of 10 am & 4 pm. The hat is a good idea and so is sunscreen appropriate for her age. By all means, use sunscreen! At the beach, at least get a large beach umbrella to keep her under. It is dangerous to expose such a young baby to the sun's UV & UB rays; you don't want her getting a sunburn.

Good luck,
Pam

Yes absolutely you should put sunblock on your daughter. A half hour outside unprotected now could affect her 30 years from now. I have used Coppertone or Waterbabies with an SPF of 50 or 60. One time I found one that was 75. I have had one pediatrician tell me use nothing less than 45 and that anything higher makes little difference. I have had another tell me to use as high as I can. My dermatologist told me the same. I tend to buy 60 but when I'm desperate I'll do 50. Make sure it blocks boths UVA and UVB.

You have some good recommendations for products, and I'd like to add the Avon Skin So Soft line, as they have stuff that is also safer for young children, including bug repellants. But no one mentioned that our bodies manufacture Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. The National Cancer Institute site has an article that talks about the possible role of Vitamin D in preventing certain cancers (http://www.cancer.gov/ncicancerbulletin/NCI_Cancer_Bullet...) I think a little sun in the morning and evening is a good thing, and using lots of sunscreen at other times.

K.,
You should worry. Last summer I took my baby for a very short walk in her stroller around our neighborhood. Her legs got sunburned. I didn't think we would be out long enough but we were!
Have fun at the beach.

A baby that young is still used to the darkness of the womb. I've read that there are some sun blocks, which are made for children, too, Banana Boat for one, which are very high in carcinogens, especially, ironically when heated up. I buy the organic sunblock at Wal-Mart. Of course the importance against UVA and UVB rays should be observed, with sunglasses as well. Six months, our pediatrician advised, was when you could safely begin using sunblock.

definitely use sun block on the exposed parts, especially if she hasn't had much exposure to the sun before! However, I've read research that has indicated that brief exposure (5-10 minutes) to the sun every day is very healthy for the body! The key to this situation (as it is to many situations) - everything in moderation.

Apply, Apply, Apply!!! I didn't use it earlier this month when I took my 15month to the park and within 5 minutes, her arms were starting to pink up! She has a pretty olive complexion and after only 5 minutes in mid-April - I was pretty surprised. Luckily I keep some in the trunk of the car, just in case! I use "waterbabies" by coppertone I believe...and it works really well, doesn't irritate her sensitive skin and stays on! Good luck.

Hi K.,
Sun Screen and more Sun Screen most certianly. It's a tough job, I know, getting lotion on those wiggly little ones but, these days it's a necessity and a good habit to starting doing it every morning when you change her diaper and get her dressed all year long. As for brands, I'm still trying to find the best one for my 3 year old, my little one (21 months) gets vanicream because of her eczma--it works well, just a little pricey if it's not necessity.
good luck.

I'm in the exact same situation with my 8 mo old!!!! I think this week I'm going to call her pediatrician and ask what to do. Have you tried calling your baby's doctor???
I'm interested in seeing other moms' responses too!

Just got this in an email from a friend...

-Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion, SPF 30 (Active Ingredient: titanium dioxide)

-Baby Lizard Australian Suncream, SPF 30+ (Active Ingredients: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide)

-Any other brand (like Mustela) that contains titanium dioxide (alone or with zinc oxide) as its active ingredient(s)

The following is a quote from the Wikipedia entry on titanium dioxide: "In almost every sunscreen with a physical blocker, titanium dioxide is found because of its high refractive index, its strong UV light absorbing capabilities and its resistance to discolouration under ultraviolet light. This advantage enhances its stability and ability to protect the skin from ultraviolet light. Sunscreens designed for infants or people with sensitive skin are often based on titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, as these mineral UV blockers are less likely to cause skin irritation than chemical UV absorber ingredients, such as avobenzone."

Hi K.,

They have many sun blocks for infants. Try a natural product for a health food store. Keep a hat on and sunglasses and a filmy dress or shirt.

The baby should be fine for the short time you are out walking.

Hope this helps. D.

BULL FROG!!! The is NOTHING better. When my daughter was about 6 month olds we did a 3 mile hike out in Utah (no shade) she wore a hat and a little sun shirt. I put bull frog on her and when we got back that evening she didn't even get a tan line. It really is the BEST there is out there. Now they even make it in a spray which is great!

Good Luck!

Dear K. I, My next door neighbor's little girl had a skin cancer area removed. It was very upsetting to the childs family at the time. Luckily they caught it in time and the girl, now a teenager, is fine. She is an advocate of sun protection. I have always used protection on my kids and they are fine so far. Hope this helped

We just used the lotion spf 60 I think for my son when we would go out. He was 7 mths old when we went to the pool and he loves the water so we tried to get him out as much as possible. we tried teh spray but the sound scared him. I would just use the lotion, easier to get on him and he couldn't sweat it off.

I wouldn't be too paranoid about it. Go out have fun but I would use sunscreen. Since he was about 6 months old I've used the AVON skin so soft which is a bug repellant and sunscreen and it's been great. He's never gotten sunburn yet. I would still keep her in the same clothes you dress her in now. My son used to run around in those rompers and no socks and sometimes no shirt for a bit too cause he too always got so hot and sweaty. Even now that he's older I always put sunblock on when he goes to the pool but I usually don't if he's just going out to play and ride his bike or scooter. It's impossible to stay indoors all day and worrying about everything so much that you don't do anything also doesn't make sense. So go out and have fun. Good luck.

Oh yes, she needs to have sunscreen on. The best thing to do with an infant is put it on before getting dressed. Then again on the exposed areas before entering the sun and every two hours while in the sun all day. Using sunscreen begins at a very young age and they need to be taught this also, so when they grow up they find the importance of it. I worked two years in the Oncology (cancer) department and saw lot of skin cancer patients....all from the sun exposures that started as a child. Good luck and keep that sweet little girl protected. Happy Summer

Hi K., i have a 3 year old boy and have been using California Baby sunscreen since he was a baby. I pretty much put the sunscreen all over his body (or the exposed parts = arms, legs, neck, ears, etc) and face. You can buy this product at Whole Foods or order online at www.californiababy.com. It has organic ingredients, water resistant and no deet.
Have fun in the sun... ;-)

- A. p -

Your daughter is old enough now to have sunscreen. It isnt recommended for under six months. My oldest son is very fair and our pediatrician told us lots of sunscreen. He recommended the No-Ad, and said that it does not need to be any higher than 30 SPF. I have always used it on any exposed parts of his body, including his head (he didnt have much hair when younger) Just ask your Dr if you have any questions or what recommendations, but the No-Ad is easy to find and little less and I guess as effective. Happy summer!

Hi K.,
Yes, babies as well as adults, need sunscreen. 30 min outside in the sun without sun screen could damage little babies and (mama's) skin.
One of the responders mentioned avon skin so soft. That is an excellent product. Sunscreen with spf 40 and SSS bug guard lotion and spray with spf 30. The Bug guard protects against mosquitioes, knats, ticks, and those no-seums (what ever they are).
If you have an avon rep, please contact her. These products do not contain deet or other harsh chemicals that can harm your skin. They last for up to 8 hours and do not have to be washed off until bath time.
If you are on the Peninsula, I have an Avon Center at 5323 Geo Wash Mem Hwy in York County and have the product on hand. I give 10%discount to mamasource ladies. You can also order online at youravon.com/fcapehart. I can deliver or you can have it delivered to you.

Either way, get some protection. It will protect her now and keep her skin from damage in the future.

Definately use sunblock. Not only do you need yo protect her for the long term affects of the sun but not to mention the immediate (sun burn). She will be uncomfortable and so will you.

Hawaiin Tropic for babies has 60 SPF that is made with less chemicals. I have been using it for my daughter since she was about 5 months old (when necessary).

Hi K.! Trust your gut - you are thinking about it and that is good - so many people don't and sun damage to baby skin is BAD!!! If you go out for 15 or 20 minutes, you can get a little sun yourself - your precious little baby has pristine skin and is even more sensitive. I highly recommend California Baby sunscreen - www.californiababy.com - my son has eczema and this does not irritate his skin at all and is safe for baby faces too! Hope this helps & good luck!

Hi K.,
Both my youngest children are VERY fair and I keep them sunscreened whenever we play outside for longer than 1/2 an hour (especially between 10:00 and 2:00) and I recommend you do the same. Now that it's closer to summer, I always put some on them, no matter how long we'll be out. It doesn't take very long for a baby's sensitive skin to burn!! I use Baby Magic sunscreen and it works great. It's pretty thick, but NO sun gets through and you don't have to reapply as often as the thin stuff. They also make a sunscreen stick that looks just like a glue stick, and makes applying to the face much easier (you can just swipe it over their cheeks, nose and forehead without having to rub it in!).
Get your daughter used to being sunscreened now, and hopefully she won't throw a fit later at the inconvenience :)

Sun Block, Sun Block and then more Sun Block. there are many great sun block for children, if in doubt ask your Dr.

I wouldn't say you should be parnoid but you should be smart about it. The sun can cause a lot of damage not to mention just being uncomfortable and miserable when you are burnt. My son and I are both very fair and burn easily. I use a minimum of 45SPF on both of us. Also try to keep your daughter in the shade. An umbrella for the beach and a canopy for the stroller. I don't worry so much about the sunscreen when he is in the stroller because he is almost always shaded from the sun.

Looks like the sunblock issue is covered... great ideas, ladies! Good job getting her to wear a hat. I started young with my daughter, and for the most part, she'll wear one now because I make her wear it every time, so it's no surprise.

Another item is a sun shield that fits over the stroller. They make some for joggers and some for regular strollers. Some have a special sunblock fabric, and others just provide more coverage for the average stroller. I bought a Kiddopotomus (sp?) one that makes the top shad of the stroller bigger. For better protection, I plan on getting a "solar shade" soon. They keep the bugs off too!

Go to your local health food store and ask for sunblock without PABA. There are several brands that are sport block and are not greasy.
Look at info. on www.ewg.org. That is the environmental working group.
Good luck,
L.

Hi K....

you don't have to be paranoid about the sun, just protect your girls skin like you do for your skin. It is very important to protect the soft baby skin(as it is to protect the head)because the skin is super sensitive and every sunburn they get as a child can get a skinproblem when they are older. I am a first time mom too and I try to do the best to keep my son healthy...every mom tries to do this...
I did a lot of research on the internet about sunscreens and the ingredients, and I was shocked when I figured out how dangerous some ingredients are. And then I found this website with sunscreens without chemicals and I ordered the - Mexitan Economy Variety Pack.
I highly recommend the sunscreen an the lotions from this
company:

http://www.mexitan.com/

You can get a sunscreen lotion with SPF 50 for your girl, what works very good. I have a very sensitive skin too and I've got a bad rush from a lot of other sunscreens, but with this products I don't have to worry about a alergic reaction anymore. I also know, that this products are a litte bit more expensive, but in my opinion, our health and our childs health should be worth it...and for sure it is.

I hope this will help you a little bit.
Enjoy the time at the beach...

A.

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