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Continued: Sun safety for your child

  • Article by: MOLLY MARTYN and MD
  • Last update: July 1, 2013 - 3:20 PM

Babies younger than 6 months have very sensitive skin.  As much as possible, they should be kept out of direct sunlight.  Dress them in light, protective clothing and use wide-billed sun hats.  For areas of their bodies that can’t be covered (like their faces or the backs of their hands), use an infant sunblock with at least SPF 30.

What about getting enough vitamin D?  Will limiting sun exposure lead to a low vitamin D level?

Sunlight is important for vitamin D synthesis.  However, the risks of sunburn, damage to the skin, and skin cancer trump this.  Children can get vitamin D through their diet, and some people also choose to take additional vitamin D supplementation.

What are the best remedies for a sunburn?

You can care for sunburns by applying cool compresses and aloe vera gel.  Gentle moisturizers can be applied to intact skin.  Ibuprofen may help to relieve discomfort and can be used for children older than 6 months.

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