Sunscreen for Newborns:
Experts caution that no sunscreen is safe for infants under the age of 6 months. Babies should simply be kept out of direct sun. This is good common sense advice should to be heeded by the rest of us, too. While sunscreens offer temporary protection, the best and safest defense against skin cancer, premature aging and other effects is limiting sun exposure.
Safer Sun Strategies:
To keep your skin safe and out of the sun’s harmful rays, try safer sun strategies like these:
- Avoid direct sun between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm when sunlight is strongest.
- Remember that sun exposure is cumulative. Taking a shade break does not reset your sun clock.
- Limit your exposure to reflective surfaces—sand, tile, water, snow, etc.—that bounce UV rays into shaded areas.
- Know that UVA radiation stays relatively constant regardless of the time of day or cloud cover.
- Use umbrellas—a big one at the beach and a smaller parasol for walks.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat, and long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or caftans made from light fabrics that you can’t see through. Consider UV-protective fabrics, which are specially woven to block sun but remain cool.
- Avoid products containing retinyl palmitate; studies have suggested a possible link between it and skin cancer.
- Apply a mineral sunscreen generously a half an hour before going outdoors and reapply it every two hours and/or after being in water.
For more than 20 years Healthy Child Healthy World, a non-profit whose mission is to empower families to make better, safer choices, has been protecting children from the harmful effects of toxic chemicals. We are seeing increased evidence of the impact of these chemicals found in everyday products on children’s health. Through evidence-based information and up to date resources and programs, we help families, promote solutions, and influence policy.