10 months ago
Last edited at 8:46AM on 7/1/2012
It used to be advised that you should not use sunscreen on babies less than six months old, but the American Academy of Pediatrics now states that sunscreen is probably safe to use on younger children, especially if you just use it on small areas of your baby's skin that is exposed to the sun and not protected by clothing, such as the infant's hands.
Keep in mind that at that age, it's not good to keep babies out in direct heat/sunlight for too long a period of time, as their bodies are not quite as adept yet at adjusting to such extremes. However it is currently considered safe to use a small amount of sunscreen, though up until recently there was some controversy as to if it was harmful to babies under 6 months (still really no evidence either way - they've just chosen the, "well we haven't seen anything bad happen yet, so it must be ok" approach).
We've used 85 spf on all of our children since birth practically. Just be careful,try a small area to make sure it doesn't irritate the skin or cause a rash. Only use creams & lotions, the spray can get into their eyes nose throat etc.On infants protective clothing is always the primary way to go & limit their outdoor time
Go to www.EWG.org to get a lot of good information about this. The Environmental Working Group is an independent, non-profit research group that has done a lot of work on issues of sunscreen effectiveness and safety, including for very small children. You can find kid-specific information at http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/top-sun-safety-tips/. Good luck!!
10 months ago
Last edited at 9:46PM on 7/4/2012
It is best to keep an infant in the shade or protected by clothing when under 6 months of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sunscreen be applied to limited skin surface, like the face and back of hands and only in situations where the sun cannot be avoided. So, they are really saying - don't expose your infant to direct sun if under 6 mos., if at all possible. A safe way to expose your baby to the water at this time would be in a small child's pool or bathtub (~3 inches of water at ~90 degrees F) and set in the shade. Let the baby explore and splash for 10-20 minutes - monitor closely.