For those of us living in Singapore, more often than not, you’ll be exposed to intense heat and sun the minute you step out of the house. When it comes to your little ones, how much sun is too much sun, and should you be putting baby sunscreen on them? In this article, we answer all these questions – and some more!
If your child is 6 months old or younger:
Babies at this age possess a reduced amount of melanin (the pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes colour, and also provides protection from the sun), making them particularly susceptible to sun damage. Given that babies in this age range are also too sensitive for sunscreen, parents should utilize other forms of protection, such as using removable mesh window shields in the windows of their cars, providing your baby with a wide-brimmed hat that covers his/her face, neck and ears, and of course, staying out of the sun.
If your child is older than 6 months:
You should still be refraining from letting your child stay under direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time; however, now that your child is older, you may purchase baby sunscreen to use on him/her. Make sure that this has a minimum of SPF15, and comes with a tear-free formula (containing zinc oxide) that won’t sting your baby’s eyes. Lastly, check that the sunscreen is labelled to be “broad-spectrum” – which means that it has protective properties against both UVA and UVB rays.
Tips & tricks for applying baby sunscreen
If you’re applying baby sunscreen for the first time, it’s better to err on the side of caution! 48 hours prior to your outing, apply a tiny amount of the sunscreen you’ve just bought to a small patch of your baby’s skin. If you’ve chosen an all-natural sunscreen which is free from sulphates, petrochemicals, parabens, artificial preservatives and fragrances, your baby shouldn’t have any reactions to this. However, if your child develops a rash or any sort of irritation, put the sunscreen aside and check with your doctor for recommendations.
Sunscreen should be applied a minimum of 30 minutes before going outside, and frequency-wise, it should be reapplied every two hours (or sooner if your child has been swimming, or sweating excessively!) You can go ahead and apply sunscreen on your child even on a cloudy day – whilst the clouds might help in dissipating the heat, they don’t block UV rays, and the amount of damage that your skin will face is no different from that of a sunny day.
Last but not least, when you’re applying sunscreen to your child, be gentle and extra careful when you’re applying it on his/her face. If your child can’t sit still and is squirming around, distract her with a toy, or simply wait till she’s calmer before continuing with application. In the case that sunscreen gets in her eyes, use a damp cloth to wipe them gently.
Which baby sunscreen is the best?
There are a wide array of baby sunscreens available in the market, and one brand that comes highly recommended is the Wotnot Baby Sunscreen SPF30. This award-winning baby sunscreen which is manufactured in Australia is enriched with all natural and certified organic ingredients – and it’s free from GMOs, sulphates, petrochemicals, parabens, artificial preservatives and fragrances. Many mummies recommend Wotnot Baby Sunscreen as their sunscreen of choice – try it today!