Protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun is essential not only for adults but for babies as well. In fact the pediatric associations across the world advise against exposing the delicate skin of a baby younger than six months.
This is because the thin and soft skin of your baby can get a sunburn in as less as fifteen minutes. However if this is unavoidable, then a natural baby sunscreen lotion is your best alternative. The sunscreens that are used by adults should be avoided by babies as they contain harsh chemicals that can damage your baby’s skin.
So what are the things that you should look for when choosing a sunscreen lotion for your baby? The sunscreen used for babies should have a broad spectrum thus protecting against UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Chemical free, natural sunscreens are the best suited for your baby, preferably containing ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Unlike the other creams, the sunscreens containing these essential elements are thicker, creamier and form a protective barrier over the gentle skin of the baby.
In addition to this you also need to check the SPF or the sun protection factor of these lotions. An SPF of 15 to 30 is ideal for your baby. Do not opt for lotions with more SPF as this might be an indication of added chemicals. Other elements to look out for are the fragrance and scent masking agents of the baby sunscreen lotions.
A no-fragrance, water resistant formula is the ideal choice for baby sunscreens as it prevents the loss of skin moisture and prevents skin reactions caused by chemicals used for fragrances in lotions.
Beware of ingredients like Octyl Methoxycinnamate, benzyl alcohol and propyl paraben which can cause severe allergic reactions in babies. To test for allergies, you can do a patch test on the toddler’s back. If the baby gets rashes, redness or an itchy skin, then it is best to discontinue usage of the sunscreen lotion.
While you do not necessarily have to slather the lotion on your child, make sure that you cover all the parts of your baby’s skin which are prone to sunburn. Apart from the face, the ears, nose, nape and shoulders need to be sun protected.