Sunscreen is OK to use on babies older than 6 months. Younger babies should use other forms of sun protection.
The best way to protect babies from the sun is to keep them in the shade as much as possible. In addition, dress your baby in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses. Make sure he or she doesn't get overheated, however. You can also provide shade for your baby by using an umbrella or pop-up tent.
If your baby is older than 6 months, sunscreen is recommended. Pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen generously to your baby's exposed skin, and reapply every two hours — or more often if your baby is spending time in the water.
To avoid irritating your baby's skin and eyes, use a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
May 24, 2019
- AskMayoExpert. Sunburn. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2018.
- How can I protect my children from the sun? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/children.htm. Accessed March 18, 2019.
- Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care/sunscreen-faqs. Accessed March 18, 2019.
- Sunscreen: How to help protect your skin from the sun. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/buyingusingmedicinesafely/understandingover-the-countermedicines/ucm239463.htm. Accessed March 18, 2019.