Its a hot week here in Adelaide so I thought the topic of babies and sunscreen would be good to discuss.

In our hot Australian sun we all know the impact of sun exposure and the importance of slip, slop and slap.

For our smallest humans it is often confusing whether to apply sunscreen or not?

I have been having a look around on the information available to new mums and can understand the confusion!

The main issue is that babies have very sensitive skin and they absorb the chemicals in sunscreen more than an older child or even adult.

they are also more sensitive to the suns rays with less melanin in their skin making sunburn easier.

Did you know there are two types of sunscreen?? Chemical and Mineral!

The advice is to use a mineral sunscreen on a baby more than chemical.

This is due to the two main ingredients being Zinc oxide (in nappy cream) and titanium dioxide being less readily absorbed.

Chemical sunscreen can have two or more of these chemicals in them- oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrytene……and so on.

There is also the claims that some products have that say they are for babies however this is then followed by a warning to not use them on babies!! Talk about confusion!

The main tips are-

Keep your baby under shade away from full sun as much as possible

If you need to use sunscreen do a small patch test first

If you need to use sunscreen only apply this to the exposed area to lessen the amount of active ingredients absorbed

Read the ingredients and choose a sunscreen that has mineral based ingredients for your baby under 6 months

Remember that your little human will dehydrate and suffer sun exposure and heat exposure quicker than you so keep them hydrated and out of the hot sun as much as possible.

So please use your own situation and if your baby is going to be exposed to the sun use a sunscreen.

Try not to go out in the heat of the day and if you are keep your baby covered and hydrated.

If in doubt read the ingredients and the back of your sunscreen bottle or tube.

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