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When can I Start Applying Sunscreen to my Infant?

Your first summer as a parent can be a challenging time. The type of sunscreen you use on your child can be a daunting task, but should you use it at all on newborns?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Health Canada recommend that parents and caregivers take every possible step to keep babies out of the sun. Limit sunscreen usage until your child is six months old. In the mean time, here’s some basic tips for dressing your baby to go outside:

Dress your newborn in lightweight, long sleeves and long pants.

Baseball caps might be cute, but they don’t work well to shield your baby’s face. Choose a wide-brimmed hat instead.

Sunglasses need to block both UVA and UVB rays.

Seek out shade during hottest part of the afternoon.

On sunny days, the hours between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most dangerous, but sunrays can also be intense on cloudy days.

Baby oil is not protective.

Keep your baby constantly hydrated.

After six months, parents can use sunscreen liberally.

If you need to use a little sunscreen, apply it first to your baby’s wrist to see if they have any reactions. Children who show any signs of sunburn should be taken inside immediately, and cold compresses should be applied to the affected areas.

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, December 2018


  • U.S
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants? Not Usually.
    American Academy of Dermatology
  • Infant sun protection: How parents can keep their baby safe.

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