Sun Protection for Babies and Toddlers this Summer!
Summer is coming and you want to make sure that your baby is safe from the sun's UV radiation!
"Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the invisible killer that you can't see or feel. UV radiation can be high even on cool and overcast days. This means you can't rely on clear skies or high temperatures to determine when you need to protect yourself from the sun," (Cancer Council Australia, 2018)
Keeping your little ones safe is the most important thing you can do as a parent.
In Australia, our sun is particularly dangerous as it damages our skin easily so you need to make sure that your children are properly protected.
"Information on ultraviolet (UV) radiation is essential for our lives under the Australian sun. We have one of the highest levels of UV exposure and highest rates of skin cancer in the world," (Bureau of Meteorology, 2018)
When the UV Index is forecast to reach 3 or above, it is at a level that can damage your baby's skin.
Cancer Council Australia have a SunSmart App you can put on your phone so that you can check the UV radiation levels and when during the day your child needs protection.
A Sun Safe Hat means that the hat will protect your baby's eyes, face, ears and the back of their neck.
There are three types of hats that are sun safe: a broad-brimmed hat, a bucket hat, and a legionnaire hat. Caps and sun visors are not recommended.
When buying for babies and toddlers you should consider whether:
it gives quality sun protection
it is comfortable for your child to wear
you can tie it on around the face so that it is more likely to stay on
it obstructs vision or hearing
it has good ventilation
it crumples when your baby or toddler drops his or her head down on the ground
The best type of hats for babies are a bucket hat or a small version of the legionnaire hat.
2. Get appropriate Sunglasses - not all sunglasses are sun safe!
Not all sunglasses are safe. In fact, many popular and "trendy" brands do not have 100% UV radiation protection.
You could be wearing sunglasses that are worse for your eyes than not wearing sunglasses at all.
When picking sunglasses for your baby and toddler make sure that they:
Provide 100% UV radiation protection
Are soft and flexible for your child's comfort
Have shatterproof lenses
Are not toy sunglasses - these should NOT be used for sun protection
Comply with the AS/NZS 1067:2003.
Are not marked ‘Fashion spectacles’ - these do not offer protection from UV
Are wraparound, close-fitting sunglasses
I find Hello Charlie to be a trustworthy and honest store founded by an Australian mum!
She seeks eco-friendly, safe products that she would personally use on her own children.
This is why I am recommending both Hello Charlie's hats and sunglasses to keep your little ones safe from the sun. The sunglasses that Hello Charlie stocks are 100% UVA/UVB protection, unbreakable, shatterproof lenses and comply with AS/NZS 1067:2003.
Why you should consider Real Kids Shades Baby Sunglasses Explorer:
Unbreakable and flexible
100% UVA/UVB protection
Lead, BPA & phthalate free
Make sure to purchase the correct size. Measure your baby's or toddler's head size before buying.
3. Sun Safe Clothing!
You need to think about sun-safe clothing - especially for babies.
While sunscreen protects our skin from the sun, it is recommended that babies do not use sunscreen when they are under 6 months old. It is, therefore, important to cover up your baby's skin as much as possible!
You should choose clothing that will allow your baby's skin to breathe, and be loose fitting. Clothing actually has a UV protection factor (UPF).
To protect your baby's skin you want to have clothing with at least UPF15, but UPF50 is better!
SunSmart states that, "If you choose clothing that doesn’t have a UPF label, look for fabrics that contain full percentages and/or blends of heavyweight natural fibres like cotton, linen and hemp, or lightweight synthetics such as polyester, nylon, lycra, and polypropylene. The tighter the fabric structure, whether knitted or woven, the better the sun protection."
Sometimes it is difficult to find nappies for swimming. Hello Charlie have three cute reusable nappy swimmers for your baby or toddler. This saves you money and time!
When using sunscreen, SunSmart recommends that you should use SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen.
Choose a sunscreen that is sensitive and for babies and toddlers. A few days prior to using the sunscreen for the first time, test a small amount on your baby's skin, such as the on the inside of the forearm. This allows you to see if your baby's skin has a reaction to the sunscreen. For more information on sunscreen read SunSmart's article: Sun Protection for Babies and Toddlers.
While sunscreen is important and protects us from the sun, it should not be the only sun protection measure used. Using protective clothing, hats, sunglasses, and shade should be used - especially newborn babies. If your baby is under 6 months, the best form of protection is keeping them out of the sun.
SunSmart states that, "If babies are kept out of the sun or well protected from UV radiation by clothing, hats, and shade, then sunscreen need only be used occasionally on very small areas of a baby’s skin. The widespread use of sunscreen on babies under 6 months old is not recommended."
Hello Charlie has provided an excellent *Cheat Sheet for Sunscreen! The Cheat Sheet explains the ingredients in different sunscreen products and which ones they personally recommend buying.
*The Cheat Sheets can be found at the bottom of the website - in the footer.
When applying sunscreen, you should apply it 20 minutes before going out into the sun and re-apply every 2 hours (SunSmart, 2018).
Prepare for times when there is no shade! It is a good idea to have spots in your backyard that are always shaded. It is also good to be prepared when you are out and about, and you find there is no shade.
When outdoors the best form of sun protection for babies is to be kept in the shade. Be aware of any surfaces that can reflect UV radiation, such as water, sand, and concrete.
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