Question: I’ve heard conflicting opinions about what age babies can go in the sun. Is there a sun exposure rule for healthy skin for babies?
Answer: I second the advice of the The American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Cancer Society: Keep babies under 6 months old out of the sun entirely and do not apply sunscreen on babies younger than 6 months. Babies who are 6 months or older should be protected with clothing, hats, a broad-spectrum sunscreen and shade. Look for broad-spectrum formulations specifically for babies and toddlers who have more sensitive skin than adults. The time that they spend in the sun should be very limited.
Did you know? More than half of a person’s lifetime sun exposure occurs before age 20. Remember, skin keeps impeccable records, so every minute spent in the sun adds up as skin damage and possibly skin cancer. More than one million Americans develop skin cancer every year mostly from long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
UV exposure makes you look old before your time and causes:
• Leathering of the skin
Beginning with babies 6 months and older, limit time in the sun and protect skin with sunscreen and protective hats and clothing whenever exposed.