Applying sunscreen on infants aged 6 months and younger isn’t a good idea, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
Chemicals used in sunscreen can harm newborns, who should avoid the sun altogether. Young babies can’t regulate body temperature properly, making them especially prone to overheating and dehydration, the agency says.
The FDA recommends:
- Keep infants out of the sun as much as possible.
- If infants do go outside, avoid the sun when ultraviolet rays are strongest, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Create a canopy over baby’s carrier or stroller.
- Dress baby in lightweight, tight-weave long pants; a long-sleeve shirt and wide-brimmed hat.
- Watch baby carefully for signs of overheating and dehydration.
- Give baby breast milk or formula regularly.
- If baby develops a sunburn, get out of the sun immediately and apply a cold compress as soon as possible.