This question is asked by parents all over the world - and googling doesn’t help! Depending on the site you go to, you will get a varied answer. And what about the tubes of sunscreen? It seems like all of them say not to use babies under 6 months! So what do the experts say?
Here is the positioning statement from the Australian College of Dermatologists:
“Because very young babies (less than six months of age) absorb more of any chemical applied to the skin than adults, the widespread regular use of chemical sunscreens is not recommended. Instead, avoiding direct sunlight, protecting with clothing and hats and using a physical sunscreen on exposed areas, is preferred.”
What is a physical sunscreen? It is a sunscreen that reflects light away from the skin, e.g. Zinc Oxide. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV. Many sunscreens contain both ingredients, so it is important to look at the ingredients list. There are many Zinc sunscreens (with no chemical UV absorbers) on the market that are designed for babies and toddlers.
Make sure you SLIP SLOP SLAP SEEK AND SLIDE, and be aware that when you apply sunscreen it needs to applied 20 minutes before sun exposure to “adhere” to the skin, and reapply every 2 hours. Avoid aerosol sunscreens, as there is a tendency to apply inadequate amounts -it takes 35mL of sunscreen to adequately protect an average sized adult!
Watch our video for more info on sun safety and babies: