Sun Protection for Babies and Children

Babies have very thin, sensitive skin and do not have a developed skin protection system like adults. This means they can sunburn very quickly when outdoors.

Follow these tips for babies under age 1:

  • Do not apply sunscreen to babies less than 6 months old
  • Keep babies less than one year old out of direct sunlight. When outdoors keep your baby either under an umbrella, in the shade, or in a covered stroller.
  • Dress in loose-fitting clothing that covers the entire body, such as lightweight pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats with brims that shade the face and cover the ears

Children with fair skin have a higher risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Pay special attention to sun protection for children that have:

  • Blond or red hair
  • Freckles
  • Lots of moles

Protecting children from the sun will help to prevent the long term consequences of too much sun, such as skin cancer, and also the short-term effects, such as sunburn.

Note to Parents: Children need sun protection not only when at the beach or outdoor swimming pool, but for all outdoor field or day trips, breaks at school and outdoor sports.

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