Baby Sun Protection & When to Use Sunscreen

Based on content from JOHNSON'S® Baby Care Basics: The Essential Guide for New Parents.

Healthy skin care habits begin early. By taking steps now to protect your baby's delicate skin from the sun's harmful rays now, he or she can enjoy a lifetime of healthy skin.

Babies under six months should not spend any time in the direct sun. Because your baby's own photo-protection is still underdeveloped, sunburn can occur despite your best sun blocking efforts - and it may take only 10 to 15 minutes for his skin to burn! Most pediatricians recommend that sunscreen products not be used on babies under six months of age, which means you'll need other methods of protection. When taking your baby outdoors, a hat is a must. Loose clothing can also help to protect the rest of your baby's skin. Sit under shade, or create your own, with an awning or a light blanket. If sun exposure is absolutely unavoidable, check with your pediatrician about using a small amount of baby sunscreen.

Even older babies (and children) should avoid exposure to direct sun for any extended period. They should always wear protective clothing and sunglasses. Check with your pediatrician about using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 30) that's formulated just for babies.

As your child grows and matures far past babyhood, continue to ensure that his skin is carefully protected from the sun. By establishing healthy habits, you can provide nurturing care for your baby now, and for years to come.