Summertime is something to celebrate. It means days in the warm sun, parties and vacations. There is however a serious side to summer that can potentially injure you and your family. Take charge with tips and tricks to keeping your family safe during all your fun summer activities.
Sun Protection for 6 Months and Under
Infants under 6 months should be kept out of the sun as much as possible. According to the skin cancer foundation, babies under 6 months old are extremely susceptible to damaging UV rays. With skin too sensitive to sunscreen preventive measures should be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to the sun's harsh rays.
- Invest in protection for your car's windows. UV rays can creep right into your windows while your baby is nestled in their carseat. Reduce these rays by up to 100%* by using UV films and mesh sun guards
- Lightweight clothing that covers as much as possible and large sun hats are not only adorable summer baby fashion but seriously protect skin from exposure to sun damage and injury.
- Limit outdoor activity with little ones to early morning and dinnertime while the sun is at it's most mild.
When possible keep your baby cool indoors, keep them hydrated and bathe them with cool (not freezing!) water when they get too hot. Pay attention to signs that your baby is becoming overwhelmed by the heat including red or flushed skin, perspiration, or in severe cases dizziness or shakes.
Sun Protection for 6 Months to One Year
Once your little one is over 6 months old, baby safe sunscreens are safe to use and should be applied properly and routinely throughout their exposure to the sun. Choosing tear-free formulas will be safer to use around the face and eyes.
Apply sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15+ onto any exposed skin including scalp, hands, face and feet. If you are using a spray, spray in your hands first and rub gently into their skin to avoid missing any areas. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before you even venture outside and every 2 hours afterward.
Continue to monitor symptoms of heat exhaustion and make sure your baby is hydrated and inside whenever possible.
Sun Protection for Toddlers and Up
For the older and more active toddler in your life continue your sunscreen regimen and a waterproof or sport is typically longer lasting on your little ones.
summer clothing should be lightweight and breathable but also covered. Scalps, the back of the neck and shoulders are particularly susceptible to sunburns.
Keep outdoor playtime early in the day or in the evening and daytime outdoor activity should be as shady as possible. Keep hydrated and remember to use sunscreen even if you and your children are going swimming. Even waterproof sunscreen needs to be reapplied regularly.
Sunglasses and sun hats are your best friend and will keep your eyes and head thoroughly protected. They even make baby sunglasses!
Sun Protection for the Whole Family
Eat Smart for Summer Health
Eat smaller more frequent meals that replenish lost nutrients. Freeze fruits and veggies into popsicles for a quick cool down that wont slow you down. Hydrate constantly and choose water and homemade flavored water instead of sugary drinks high in sodium. Sodas will dehydrate you even more with all their added sodium.
Healthy Skin for the Win
Remember to moisturize your skin every day to combat harsh damage over drying from the sun. For sunburns keep an aloe plant or put some aloe aftercare gel in the refrigerator for soothing relief for painful sunburns. For very sad very sunburned little ones, stick them in a cool water bath with some oatmeal and chamomile tea bags. Chamomile and oatmeal will soothe irritation as the damage repairs itself.
For grown ups, use the chamomile trick on a sunburnt face. Soak chamomile teabags in cool water and place them on your face, refreshing them in the cool water every so often. This is a chemical free alternative to after care sprays and feels amazing on that sunburnt nose.
Heat Exhaustion Is Real
Heat exhaustion doesn't discriminate based on age, complexion, or fitness level. Extreme heat and dehydration will drain your energy and cause fatigue. Allow yourself to rest from yard work, take constant breaks indoors or in the shade and keep water nearby.
The dangers of summer sun and heat shouldn't scare you away from having a good time and celebrating the season with your family. Be prepared when you leave the house and educate your family on what to do in case of heat exhaustion or sunburns. Prevention will keep your skin safe from painful sunburns and protect your skin from long term damage caused by UV exposure.
The Birth Haven wishes you and your family a SAFE summer.