As the cold winter weather leaves, sunny spring is approaching. Spring break is filled with lots of fun in the sun, and we want children and families to enjoy the fun while staying safe.
Here are some ways to protect your child from the heat:
6 months old and under:
- Keep infants out of direct sunlight.
- If you’re taking your baby for a walk in a stroller, the best hours to do so are before 10 pm and after 4 pm. Ensure the stroller has a protective shade.
- Beware using stroller covers. Even a thin muslin cloth can increase the temperature inside to a dangerous level. It is imperative that your child have good ventilation inside of the stroller.
- Umbrellas at the park or beach can help keep babies away from direct sunlight.
- Protect your baby’s neck, ears, and face with a comfortable hat.
- Protective clothing that covers baby’s skin and is breathable.
- Sunglasses to protect eyes from UV rays, if baby allows it.
- It is recommended to wait to use sunscreen on babies until they are 6 months old. If sunscreen is necessary, use one that has the ingredients of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
Over 6 months old:
- Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going outdoors.
- Reapply sunscreen up to every 1-2 hours.
- Some babies may be allergic to ingredients in sunscreen, test baby in a small area before use.
- All rules above for infants apply to 6+ months old. Protective clothing, keep baby in the shade with hats and umbrellas.
Other things to keep in mind:
- Frequently check on your child and look for signs of them being irritable or tired.
- Sunscreen is NOT just for the spring/summer months!
- Fun fact: Sunscreen does expire! Check your bottles to make sure yours will still be effective. If it does not have a date, calculate it three years from when you bought it and use that as your expiration date.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Have your children drink LOTS of water (or breastmilk/formula if they are an infant) while you are outside.
- Good sun habits start when your child is young. Some sunlight is good for bone health. Vitamin D can safely be incorporated into daily routines by scheduling time outdoors.
- Protect your child’s skin with sunscreen. Multiple sunburns throughout life can cause premature aging of the skin and even skin cancer. Overexposure to the sun without protection is the leading cause of skin cancer in the United States and is preventable.
- If your child has a sunburn use aloe to moisturize and relieve the pain.
In cases where a child has a severe sunburn, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you’re concerned about your child’s sunburn, or if they’re experiencing symptoms such as fever, dehydration, or blistering, take them to your local urgent care for kids. At Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care, our experienced medical team can provide prompt and compassionate care to help your child recover quickly and safely. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need assistance – we’re here to help!
Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care opened in 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. With multiple locations in San Antonio and Dallas, they are open seven days a week with extended evening hours and see walk-in patients or through an online check-in system. They accept most commercial insurance and Medicaid plans.