While September brings back to school, it can also bring some of the hottest days of the year here in San Diego. We might be beginning to daydream about scarves and boots, but we can’t forget to keep our sunscreen game strong!
Of course, many of you have infants who are too young to douse in sunscreen if they are under 6 months, at least according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. But babies this age produce very little melanin for protection from the sun, and therefore they recommend the following steps:
- take your walks with your new baby before 10am and after 4pm
- use window shields to protect your baby or babies from the sun during car rides
- dress babies in light clothing that covers most of their skin, and in a hat with a wide brim to protect the head, neck and face.
The AAP indicates that a small amount of sunscreen can be applied to areas that remain uncovered (“Sun and Water Safety Tips,” aap.org).
If you’re going to the beach here in San Diego, bring an umbrella or shade structure, and avoid the middle of the day!
After 6 months of age, a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 is recommended. Of course, some parents are concerned about the ingredients getting absorbed into their little ones’ skin. For that we recommend Environmental Working Group’s sunscreen guide, or their “skin deep” app, which allows you to enter in a sunscreen brand and type and see how it scores for its levels of potentially harmful chemicals. The ingredients can change from year to year, and the app stays current!
Have fun in the sun!
But wait – what about Vitamin D!? Sunscreens that protect from the sun can also inhibit our absorption of Vitamin D, which is important too! (See how hard it is to make informed decisions in the best interest of our children!? Here’s where we all take a collective deep breath and have compassion for how complicated this job of raising little humans can feel sometimes).
Not to worry, in our next blog post we’ll tackle what you need to know about Vitamin D and Your Baby.