Keeping your Newborn Safe in the Sun

What’s the best way to protect my baby from the harmful effects of the sun?
Infants younger than six months should be kept out of direct sunlight if at all possible. Try finding places with shade like under a tree, an umbrella, or stroller canopy. Dress your baby in cool, comfortable clothing that covers the body. Lightweight cotton fabrics, with a tight weave will provide the best protection while keeping your baby comfortable. UV rays are at their highest levels from 10:00 am until about 4 p.m. It is important to limit sun exposure during these hours.

Can babies wear sunscreen?
•   For Babies younger than 6 months: Use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face and the backs of the hands, if protective clothing and shade are not available.

•   For babies older than 6 months: Apply to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes. If your baby rubs sunscreen into his or her eyes, wipe the eyes and hands clean with a damp cloth. If the sunscreen irritates his or her skin, try a different brand or try a sunscreen stick or sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If a rash develops, talk with your baby’s healthcare provider.

Meriter wishes you and your family a safe and healthy summer!

Laura Nelson, RN, MS
Newborn Intensive Care Unit
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Meriter Hospital

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