Sunscreen for Babies

By Elizabeth Temple - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Protecting your child from sunburns isn't easy, but it is even harder with a baby's sensitive skin.

Alex Robinson's son Xander is now six months, and all he wants is for his baby to be happy, healthy and out of the sun.

"They said it was fine to put sunscreen on him," said Gaines referring to his pediatrician.

Xander, like most babies, has his hands in his mouth. The main concern is what will happen if he ingests some of the sunscreen?

Dr. Anatole Karpovs, a Pediatrician at the Children's Clinic of Southwest Louisiana, said, "I think it's ok for them to put their hands in their mouth if you apply it before hand 20 minutes before you get into the sunlight...the actual sunblock ingredient is not toxic."

Robinson came up with his own solution.

"We just put a pacifier in his mouth," said Robinson.

Like many other parents, Robinson bought special baby sunscreen, but Dr. Karpovs says they are no different than adult sunscreens.

"The baby sunscreens may have extra perfumes or dyes but the active ingredients are the same," explained Karpovs.

Dr. Karpovs recommends cream sunscreen, rather than the sprays, for a baby's face to protect their eyes. He also added that SPF 30 works just fine.

"Once you hit a number around 30 then that means it blocks about 95 % of the UV rays and above that really people start talking about 45 or 70, but those only increase it by a few percentage points," said Karpovs.

Dr. Karpovs says you can start applying small amounts of sunscreen as early as two months old, but packaging labels recommend waiting until six months.

In the meantime, parents should cover their baby in loose-fitting long-sleeved clothing, stay in the shade and always wear a hat.

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