Monday, August 24, 2015

Don't burn up the baby

Tsk tsk--you aren't listening...
As I have said before, think of the sun as a big nuclear reactor spitting out radiation. When you take a toddler to the beach, they run around and you see the sun on them and remember to lube them up with sunscreen every so often or take them out of action and plunk them in the shade.

But a baby? An infant under 6 mos? Usually this little one is in a carseat or carrier, dressed, and you think he or she is pretty protected.

But sun can also get to tender babes.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the dressing is good--long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, sunglasses...

But the best way to protect the tiny ones is to keep them in the shade.

Sunscreen use for those under 6 mos should be avoided.

Six months and older--you can apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to exposed skin. But keep them in the shade anyway--and covered in clothes.

In 2015, researchers at the University of Miamai, only 14.6% of parents asked knew all this.

Eighty-three percent said they did seek shade for the baby. Less than half put on a hat. Forty percent routinely covered the child in clothes.

And 29% said they have used sunscreen for kids under 6 mos!

Not only that, but a third reported they tried to raise the child's tolerance for the sun by gradually increasing exposure.  Three percent let the child get a sunburn in the first 6 mos of life.

You are not doing the kid a favor by increasing their tolerance, as these participants put it.

Note: Most in this survey were African-American or Hispanic--everyone needs protection, people with darker skin are no exception.

So..there you have it. White or light-colored, lightweight baby clothes.

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