Ok I’m having a bit of a mommy fail moment. I was in the park the other day enjoying the sunshine when I looked down at my LO and realized that I had no idea how to care for her with the rays beating down on us....I felt horrible, I had her covered up with a hat and was keeping to the shade, but was I doing everything I could to have her enjoy the outdoors as much as me? When I got home I found some quick health information on a site (here) which recommended keeping babies out of the sun during peak sunshine hours and for the beach, special SPF swimsuits and other really helpful suggestions, but I would love feedback from you guys- do you guys think the site is right? How have you protected your baby from the sun? Thanks so much for solving my little fail moment...
sun protection for little one
How little is little?
I use clothing as much as possible on my kiddos, including hats. And on exposed skin when we'll be in the sun long enough I worry about burns I used Loving Naturals Sunscreen. It rates very well on the skin deep database: http://loving-naturals-skin-care.webstorepowered.com/
DS is now over 4, and still has probably only had sunscreen on for a total of 20 days ever. We use rash guards & hats for swimming, long sleeve light weight shirts for camping/canoeing, and the summer he was 18mth old I actually made him pants & a long sleeve shirt for a canoe trip from sun protective fabric.
You can find a lot of great sun protection if you look to Australian brands first, they are better at the sun protection! But even basic rash guards from Old Navy work ... when you think about where the sun hits -- top of shoulders, back of neck, you need to cover those areas first, so hats with brims all the way around (not ball cap style), or the ones that have the flap down the neck, and shirts (not tanks or skimpy swim suit tops for girls) will give you better protection.
Environmental Working Group does a sunscreen study which is very detailed. It goes into tons and tons of brands of sun screen and has really helped me chose a variety of sunscreens for our family.
I also say yes to big floppy hats (especially with the tie under the chin) and rash guards when swimming/ playing near water etc
Sun protective swimming shirts are great, I got my boys some at a site called "triple j sun protection" also got myself a surfer chick kind of spf bodysuit to swim in. Hats I cannot keep on my kids, they like them for a few minutes as a novelty then they come off. I only worry about sun if we'll actually be out for a few hours, even my pale family can take it in small doses just wearing normal clothes. California Baby sunscreen is a safe and effective one, a little greasy and thick but it's trustworthy for the young'uns and the regular lemongrass scent smells like lemon pez candy. As they get older I'm less vigilant about sunscreen brands and use whatever is available.
There is some concern about zinc and titanium oxides being safe or not for the skin especially with sun exposure, and of course the regular sunscreens have chemicals that disrupt hormones, so minimizing the need for any of them is likely the best way to go whenever possible.
Aside from clothing, after a lot of research on sunscreens and reading numerous studies, I found this one that we are happy with: Mexitan. It is a physical - not chemical - sunblock, and yet does not use nano-particles, which a lot of the natural sunscreens do. Nano-particles may or may not really be an issue, but from what I read up on we just don't really know that much yet on the subject. Neither of my kids have been burned yet, despite being in and out of the pool all day every day all summer, or at the beach, so I would say it works very well. The only drawback is that it takes some care to use the right amount and rub it in or you will be streaked with white. This is because it is a physical barrier and why most all natural physical barriers use nano-particles. Not much of a drawback as far as I am concerned, though. They also make a very nice bug spray that is not scary and works admirably well, and smells really nice.
We use Episcentuals (I think it's called Sunny Sunscreen, I don't know, it has an Eric Carle theme) and I love it. It goes on easy and rubs in nicely and is a physical sunscreen, not chemical. You also should try to keep baby in light cotton layers, like t's and light pants or shorts that cover the parts the sun direcctly beats down on. Between a hat, and clothes, I find it pretty easy to put sunscreen on the legs, arms and face and neck. I do it all while Daniel is in the carseat.
My "Fitzpatrick I" ds lives in Coolibar all year long. He wears a legionnaire hat and sunglasses daily and also wears long pants and long-sleeved shirts to school everyday, all year long. When we are on the water, he wears a good quality rash guard, with rash guard-material leggings under his trunks. On really bad UV index days, he also wears the face mask that Coolibar sells. We don't do sunblock at all because he has sensory issues, but I'm ok with that because I don't really trust the stuff.
FYI, the most natural brand I've found is called UV Natural.
I'm with Mamazee :)
Now, this doesn't apply to sun protective clothing, as far as I know, (maybe it does,) but I have also heard lately that there is a lot of question as to whether or not the type of rays we are blocking with any type of sunscreen are even the cancer causing culprits. From what I have read, there really isn't any evidence that what we block is what is harmful at all. We're just taking a blind stab at it. Not saying to throw the entire thing out the window, obviously, but it is food for thought, certainly.
I agree with mamazee.
Juise - we use sunblock when we'll be out long enough to need it to prevent sunburn. And I use one of the ones with the best rating from the skindeep database.I don't want my kids dealing with the pain of that, and we can't cover every inch of skin (faces tend to be problematic, even with hats, being in the sun a lot).
Oh yes, like I said, I didn't mean that all sunblocks should just be thrown out the window. I just found it very interesting. Sunblocks do still prevent burns, just perhaps not skin cancer. I use sunblock on my LOs when I feel it's necessary to prevent burning, although not every time we see the light of day. I feel that sun exposure is important for the healthy function of our bodies, to a degree. I posted a little further up the thread about what we use.