Does Your Newborn Need Sunscreen?
It is a natural parental instinct to protect your child in every way possible, especially during the newborn and infant phases. Like many parents, you may question the best way to keep your newborn’s soft, flawless skin from becoming harmed by the harsh Florida sun. The answer might actually surprise you. It turns out that experts recommend steering clear of sunscreen until your child is at least six months old. This means that during the newborn months, you need to utilize other forms of effective sun protection.
Why No Sunscreen Until Six Months?
Your newborn is still vulnerable in many ways. In particular, his skin has not yet matured, which places him at a higher risk of suffering side effects from the chemicals used in standard sunscreen formulas. In addition, any exposure to UV rays can burn and damage your baby’s skin without warning.
The Best Methods of Prevention
The best way to prevent sunburn is simply to stay inside or in the shade between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day, but sometimes stepping out into the sun is unavoidable. In this case, dress your baby in lightweight clothing and a brimmed hat to protect his skin from the sun. You can even use an umbrella to create shade when needed.
What About After Six Months?
Once your baby hits the six-month mark, you can begin to use sunscreen normally. However, there are a few precautions you want to take. Most importantly, avoid sunscreens that use ingredients like oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. These ingredients can irritate the skin and have been identified as potential hormone disruptors to the body. Instead, select safer sunscreen brands that use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as active ingredients.
If you’re still unsure about the best sun protection methods for your child, or if you have other questions relating to the health of your infant, Pediatric Care of Four Corners in Davenport, Florida can help. The experienced physicians at Pediatric Care of Four Corners can handle everything from prenatal visits and preventative care to treatment of acute illnesses and ongoing chronic conditions. Call (863) 804-6194 to make your child’s first appointment today.