Summer break is around the corner and we all know that summer spells outdoor fun. However, you’ve got to be extra careful when it comes to your little one’s delicate skin. The hot weather comes with the sun’s harmful rays and insect bites.
A baby’s skin is much thinner and more delicate than an adult’s, even though both have the same number of layers of skin. Having a less robust epidermis means your baby’s skin is more sensitive to the stresses of the environment.
When it comes to skin care, there’s a lot you can do to keep your baby from getting sunburnt. Try and limit direct sun exposure. Stay indoors between the hottest hours of the day and schedule outdoor play time before 10 am or after 4 pm. Be sure to put on lightweight clothes and a wide-brimmed hat that cover up most of your baby’s skin. If you are out during the peak sun hours, try keep your little one playing in the shade. Apply sunscreen formulated for babies with SPF 30 or higher (broad-spectrum and waterproof) liberally ensuring you cover all of your baby’s exposed skin, including the ears, neck, hands and feet. Do this about 20 – 30 minutes before heading out. Lather away even on those overcast days. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds. Make sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after coming out of the pool. Babies under the age of 6 months should be kept out of the sun altogether, rather rely on clothing and shade to protect your little one.
How to pick the right sunscreen for your infant’s skin?
There is a wide variety of sunscreens available in stores, look for one that has the following ingredients:
- Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect your baby from UVA and UVB sun rays.
- Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide blocks the suns UVA rays from penetrating the skin and are also best for those with sensitive skin.
- Choose a SPF 30 or higher to block out most of the sun’s UVB rays.
The best way to ward off mosquitoes is to dress your baby in long-sleeve clothing. An insect repellent can be used as an added preventative measure. If you are not keen on using insect repellent on your little one’s skin, get a small insect repellent that you can attach to your child’s clothing. You could also use a plug-in repellent indoors or a mosquito net to keep your baby protected through the night.
Other factors that dry out your baby’s skin are:
Splashing about in the pool during the summertime is the norm but rinse your baby off with tap water as chlorine is known to dry out your baby’s skin. Remember to apply moisturiser once the rinsing off is done. Choose a moisturiser that is fragrance and dye-free.
Bath time – keep it cooler and short. Although splashing about can be loads of fun for your little one, too much water time can dry your baby’s skin out. If the water is too hot, it can also dry their skin out. Choose gentle, fragrance-free products as standard soaps can also dry the skin out.
In the summer heat, we tend to make use of aircons. Keep a cool mist humidifier close to your baby’s crib to moisten the air around your baby.
Remember to keep your baby well hydrated in the summer in conjunction with adding moisturiser to keep your little ones skin ever so kissable and supple.