With all the different types of sunscreen available, choosing one for your baby can be tricky. Don’t just focus on the price tag. Remember that the most expensive sunscreens are not necessarily the most effective ones. Consider your needs and take the time to read the labels and print on the packaging.
Skin damage can result from two types of ultraviolet rays—UVA and UVB. When possible, choose sunscreen that protects your child from both types of radiation by looking for labels that provide broad-spectrum defense.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a good sunscreen should have a sun protection factor or SPF rating of at least 30. If your child has very fair skin or is prone to sunburns, opt for sunscreen with a higher SPF.
Determining if a child has an allergy can be difficult at such a young age, so choose sunscreen that is hypoallergenic and free of fragrances. For babies with sensitive skin, search for sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as the active ingredient.
Applying sunscreen on babies isn’t always an easy task—so find a product that is easy to apply quickly such as a lotion or spray.
Of course, take note that babies below six months of age should be kept out of the sun as much as possible. If they cannot be properly shaded, only apply sunscreen to select areas of the body such as their face. When going outside, always dress your child in lightweight clothes that preferably cover both arms and legs. Don’t forget a hat!