Whether you are planning a day at the beach or just heading to the park for some fresh air, we need to always be aware of the potential that ultraviolet (UV) sunlight can do to our babies new and delicate skin.
Here in Australia, our summer sun is particularly harsh, with record temperatures and a higher UV rating than most countries due to the Earths positional orbit during our summer, but suncare is important all year round! Regardless of your location, protecting bubs from the sun is so important. Mizzie has some fantastic tips!
Keeping your little one safe in the sun can be simple with a little forward thinking and preparation before heading out! Mizzie knows that The Australian Cancer Council tells us to try and stay in the shade during high UV times of day (typically 10am-3pm) - so early morning and afternoon outdoor adventures are perfect.
If you are planning on being in the sun at any time, but especially these high UV hours, here are some steps for protection:
- Slip: Dress bubs (and yourself) in clothing that offers the most coverage possible. Clothes with long sleeves and full coverage skirts or pants are best for bub. A Bonus if you can find fabrics that have a high UV protection rating! If this is not possible, aim for items that have a tight knit or weave like cotton, linen and help that allow good sun coverage whilst allowing babies skin to breathe.
- Slop: For infants younger than 6 months old it is suggested to avoid the use of heavy sunscreens due to their delicate skin. Instead be even more vigilant in keeping baby sun safe. If you know your conditions will have baby in direct sunlight and you absolutely cannot avoid it, you can opt for a light coverage on babies exposed areas. It is suggested to do a small patch test 24 hours in advance and monitor baby for signs of allergic reaction.
- Slap: Make sure you have a nice wide brimmed or bucket hat for bubs to wear. This will provide protection for their delicate scalp as well as create shade for their face and some of their upper body.
- Shade: This is one of the best ways to keep baby safe from UV rays. Providing a solid source of shade will help keep bubs protected. If you are headed to the beach, consider using a pop up tent that provides full shade for you and bub. If you are headed to the park, pick out the largest shadiest tree to settle under, being mindful as the leaves move and sway, they do allow sun to shine through onto babies skin.
- Slide: Protect your babies eyesight with a pair of sunglasses that meet standards regarding UV protection. As cute as toy or fashion sunglasses are, they don’t benefit bubs at all, so go with a wrap around style with soft elastic to keep them in place.
- Sip: Mizzie has added in a sixth step which is not listed on the Sun Smart 5, but is just as important. Ensure bub is well hydrated! Even if you think they look cool enough in the shade, babies dehydrate quickly. Ensure you have excess supply of milk and feed bubs more often, keeping an eye on if they look flushed or sweaty. If you think they are experiencing signs of dehydration endeavour to consult with your health professional who may suggest introducing small amounts of water to babies diet.
If you find that despite your best efforts bubs has still managed to get sunburned, treat their sort skin with cold compresses (like Mizzie Freezzie!), moisturiser and aloe vera. Please also consult your health professional with your concerns.