Bring on the lazy days of summer… said no parent ever! Our days as a parent in the summer are usually packed with trips to the beach, after dinner walks outside since it’s light out later, pool time and travel. As a parent, some of our biggest concerns are keeping our little ones safe in the sun while enjoying the summer weather. We’re here to make it easier for you with key tips to have a safe and fun summer!
But first, a quick introduction. We’re Registered Nurses, Jamie O’Day and Emily Silver, here to bring you honest, real-life, judgment free parenting support. We founded NAPS to provide uncensored coaching to help parents (like you!) thrive in every stage from conception through preschool. Being moms ourselves, and knowing that there is no one right way to parent, we built NAPS as an honest, real-life, judgment-free space with personalized support from trained medical professionals. So you can get the best information, like these Safe Summer Tips for Parents, and so.much.more, all to parent YOUR way!
As a special offer, Merlin is invited to join NAPS for their upcoming webinar: Baby Safety: Tips for Parents and Caregivers. NAPS Registered Nurses will cover safe sleep, feeding practices, water safety and basic home safety tips! Enroll here using code: MERLINSUMMER
As we come into the summer, we want to dish out our best tips when it comes to being in the sun with babies or kids. Let's break down their most common questions and advice by age.
Babies up to 6 months of age:
If you do a quick google search, you will find that you cannot use sunscreen on babies younger than 6 months. So here’s the deal, it’s not that if you put sunscreen on a baby they will combust, it’s actually just that babies have super sensitive skin and it’s advised to avoid direct sunlight for this age group. If you had an occasion where you wouldn’t be able to avoid direct sunlight, or you were feeling concerned, you could put sunscreen on your baby. If for some reason, you feel like you end up in this scenario, you can test the sunscreen out on a very small patch of skin, like a small area on their back, just to make sure they don’t have a reaction since their skin is so sensitive.
- Best ways to avoid direct sunlight with a baby?
- Using a stroller or car seat with a sun shade to block the sun and keep the baby shaded. Using a light weight blanket to block the sun.
- If you’re wearing a baby in a carrier, facing them in and keeping their skin covered in light weight cotton clothing.
- Wearing sun hats with a brim to shade their face from the sun.
- You can also get tiny fans for your stroller to clip on for air flow on a hot day.
Moving into the sun screen age group? For our babies and toddlers:
Favorite sunscreen: Blue Lizard. Between the 2 of us, we have 6 girls and this seems to be the only sunscreen that we can use on her kiddos (who collectively have sensitive skin and some have eczema) without having a reaction. They make a stick for the face and spray for the body which is smoothe to apply. Regardless, when choosing a sunscreen, you are looking for one that is labeled broad spectrum with zinc oxide. The term “Broad Spectrum” means that it protects against most UVA and UVB rays. A sunscreen that is at least SPF30 and includes zinc oxide offers the best protection for your child. *Read the labels: UPF is always broad spectrum giving you protection from both UVA and UVB rays - where SPF is not, unless it clearly says “broad spectrum”.
Why does this matter? Children who experience a sunburn 5 times or more in childhood are 50% more likely to be diagnosed with Melanoma.
Sun hats: Hats that properly block the sun and have UPF are great. You’re looking for hats that actually stay on! iPlay and Flap Happy sun hats have a great brim and a strap to secure so they stay in place.
Bathing suits and clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor): We are obsessed with SnapperRock for all six of our girls. The brand is passionate about keeping kids safe from the sun and the CEO and mom owner works with the Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation. Snapper Rock bathing suits have UPF, which is not the same as SPF (Sun Protection Factor), and there is no sunscreen in the swimsuit. Rather, it has to do with its fabric weight, texture and color. The term UPF is used to identify the level of protection and the weight, texture and color of the fabrics determine the level of protection.
*Parents: you want to look for bathing suits, hats and rash guards that have the certified tag for “UPF50+”. This means that the UPF projects 49/50 (so 98%) of all UV rays when worn.
Emily & Jamie
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