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Sun Protection for Babies and Children 

Feb 18, 2022 | 1 minute Read

It’s important to keep your baby out of the sun. Here are a few tips to help you.

Tips for sun protection

  • Avoid sun in the middle of the day. Plan your day to minimize your own, as well as your baby or child’s exposure to the sun, especially between 10AM and 4PM.
  • Dress children in sun-smart clothing and sunglasses. Cover as much of your baby’s and children’s skin with loose-fitting clothes made from closely-woven fabrics or commercially available sun-protective clothes. Choose a hat that protects your baby’s face, neck, and ears.
  • Keep little ones in the shade. Encourage children to play in shaded areas. If good, natural shade is unavailable, consider building a permanent or portable shade structure. The structure should be big enough so that children can play comfortably in the shadow. Provide shade for your baby’s stroller with material that casts a broad shadow over the entire baby.
  • Always use sunscreen. Keep babies under 6 months of age out of direct sunlight if possible. A minimal amount of sunscreen, with an SPF of at least 15, can be applied to areas that cannot be protected from the sun. For older infants and children, apply sunscreen with at an SPF 15 or greater to all areas that cannot be covered by clothing.
  • Reapply sunscreen. You need to reapply every 2 hours, after swimming, or after sweating.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. It takes 30 minutes for sunscreen to soak into the skin and take effect.
  • Protect your baby from sunburn in the car. Glass reduces the transmission of most UV rays, but not all. Your baby will still need protection on long trips in the car. Window shades or tinting provide extra protection.

The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.