Sunlight increases vitamin D in the body, but exposing your newborn's delicate skin to ultraviolet rays can cause damage, such as sunburns. Severe sunburns in childhood increase the risks of developing melanoma, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. A newborn's low level of melanin, which naturally helps protect the skin, increases the chances of damage from UV-ray exposure. Limiting exposure and taking precautions when you do venture outdoors keeps your baby's skin protected.
Things You'll Need
- Lightweight clothing
- Brimmed hat
- UV window film
- Removable sun shade
Keep your newborn indoors when the sun's rays are the strongest -- usually from mid-morning to late afternoon. Avoiding the sun completely during this time protects your baby's delicate skin from the UV rays.
Dress your newborn in long, lightweight clothing so his skin is covered without his body overheating. Put a hat with a brim on his head to protect his scalp and face.
Apply a very small amount of sunscreen to skin that is exposed if necessary. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only using sunscreen on babies under six months if you can't otherwise avoid the sun. Wait at least 15 minutes after applying the sunscreen to expose your baby to UV rays.
Choose a spot in the shade when your baby is outdoors. If you can't find shade from a tree or other structure, pack an umbrella to block the sun's rays.
Block UV rays while your newborn travels in the car by applying UV window film or a removable screen that attaches to the window.
Tips & Warnings
- Protection from the sun is always a concern, even on cloudy or cold days, since the UV rays are still present.
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