sunscreen question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-16-2003, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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My family is heading to the Caribbean on Friday for a reunion. DS is 2 months old with very fair skin. We plan on keeping him in the shade as much as possible but will head out in the sun, particularly into the water!

I feel like I've heard that one shouldn't put sunscreen on a baby's face. True?

Today DP heard that you're not to put sunscreen on a baby at all until 6 months. Also true?

Finally, if we are meant to use sunscreen, any suggestions?


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#2 of 9 Old 06-16-2003, 03:56 PM
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I just asked my ped about this a week ago. He said not until 6 mo. because their skin is still very thin and it will absorb the sunscreen further into their system than is good for them...something like that. but definitely not til 6 mo.

So i guess it means lightweight long sleeves and hat. maybe there is a natural product that can serve the purpose. isn't zinc oxide what lifeguards use?

Have fun!!!
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#3 of 9 Old 06-16-2003, 04:10 PM
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Check around on the web and see if you can find any long sleeved/pant swim outfits for him. They look like scuba outfits. They might seem too big, but they are made out of thicker material and offer more sun protection. Check out OneStepAhead on line and see if you can find them there.
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#4 of 9 Old 06-16-2003, 09:01 PM
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California baby has a non-chemical sunscreen. Maybe that is okay to use on little babies. I don't know, but i'm sure someone here does....

It is very $$$$$ though.
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#5 of 9 Old 06-16-2003, 10:03 PM
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...that I absolutely had to put sunscreen on DD, who will be 8 weeks when we go to the beach. She said to use it sparingly, and to wipe it off when we go out of the sun. She DID say that it is best to keep as much of her covered as possible, and keep her in the shade, but anything that was still exposed had to have sunscreen. She said sun damage and its long term effects were worse than the sunscreen.

Here is a link to the AAP recommendation.

Since we have a strong family history of skin cancer, we will put sunscreen on whatever is exposed. I asked the ped. the day after DD was born because it does say on the package not to use sunscreen on children under 6 mo. But the AAP and our ped says to do it, so we will

But I would still call your ped. and ask.

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#6 of 9 Old 06-17-2003, 03:43 AM
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Keeping a young baby out of the sun is the ideal situation but if they will get sun then by all means - PUT ON THE LOTION!! Sunblock is much better than sun poisoning and that is very easy for a little baby to get, especially a fair skinned one. My ds is very pale and I would put sunblock on him in a heartbeat. By the way, one of the lactation consultants I know told me about a baby she saw, I think about 8 wks old, and the family went into the woods. The baby was in the shade at least half the time but still got horrible sun poisoning. And they don't have to be red to have sun poisoning. I would much rather protect that baby's skin if you will be out.
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#7 of 9 Old 06-17-2003, 09:23 AM
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My ped told me the reason they say not to use sunscreen on a babe under 6 months is that they shouldn't be in the sun in the first place. Babies skin is so thin and delicate, it will burn so easily and quickly. She told me that it isn't anything in the sunscreen that is such a problem. Although common sense tells me that an allergy could result if your family has sensitive skin. I trusted her opinion - at an army hospital no less I got a lovely ped who BF her 3 children and told me I don't need Vit. D drops cause we're fair!!

In the sun, your daughter should have a cotton wide brim hat with the fabric that goes down the back of his neck (sew a hankie or some fabric to the back of a hat). Those full length lycra swimming outfits are good too cause they're not heavy and cold when wet. Although I've been looking at this stuff lately and have seen nothing for a baby less than 6 months or 12lbs.

And remember sun screen isn't 100% effective. Clothing is almost 100% effective.
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#8 of 9 Old 06-17-2003, 12:33 PM
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my ped told me sunscreen is okay, but to avoid being in direct sun during peak hours (don't know what that would mean in the carribean). we use california baby, and it is $$$$, but a little goes a long way, and it works. i have one baby who is soooo fair, he got burned on a ten minute car ride. i don't put any on their hands. also, do a test first on a small area of skin to see if there will be a reaction. most of all, don't trust that the sunscreen will work! keep baby covered and in the shade as much as possible.

have fun! i'm jealous!



Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 & 12) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#9 of 9 Old 06-18-2003, 04:09 AM
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My little spark is extremely fair and we plan to use sunscreen on her even though we will absolutely not put her out in the direct sun. My ped has worked with several pediatric dermatologists who have said this is not a problem, the main reason for the 6+ months recommendation is because the manufacturers don't want to pay to do the testing to be able to say its safe for younger than that.

So granted, its not tested, but I believe the risk of her getting a sunburn and the consequences to her heath far outweigh the chance she'll have a problem with the sunscreen itself.
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