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Keep Baby Safe in the Sun

Delicate skin can be quick to burn

SUNDAY, July 11, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- It's wonderful to let your baby enjoy the fresh air and light of a beautiful summer day, but make sure you follow some basic sun safety guidelines.

A baby's skin is delicate and sunburns easily. Recent research found severe sunburn in childhood increases the risk of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, later in life.

The University of Minnesota offers some advice on how you and your baby can enjoy a sunny day in the park and avoid the danger of sunburn:

  • Stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the sun's rays are most powerful.
  • Make sure you keep your baby in the shade when you're outdoors.
  • Protect your babies eyes with sunglasses that block ultraviolet light. Don't use toy sunglasses. A hat with a wide brim will help protect your baby's head and eyes.
  • Babies can get sunburned on overcast days, too. So you need to protect them on cloudy days when you go out for any length of time.
  • Infants should be dressed in lightweight long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Remember to apply sunscreen lotions to your baby and yourself when you're in the sun. You should use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside and then reapply it every two hours when you're outdoors.
  • Make sure your stroller has a sunshade.
  • If your baby does get a sunburn, apply cool, wet towels on the sunburned areas. If a sunburn causes blisters or chills, call your doctor.

More information

The National Safety Council has more about children and sun safety.

SOURCE: University of Minnesota
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