True or false: Babies younger than 6 months shouldn’t wear sunscreen.
Answer False. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says it’s safe for infants younger than 6 months to wear minimal amounts of sunscreen on small areas such as the face, neck and the back of your baby’s hands. In general, however, the AAP advises that you keep a baby younger than 6 months in the shade of a tree, umbrella, or stroller canopy and to dress your baby in lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Why? “Babies are more prone than adults to sunburn because their skin is thinner and their body’s protective tanning response isn’t developed,” explains Jim Chow, M.D., associate director of the division of dermatology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, in Columbia.
If you can’t avoid exposing your baby to the sun, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun-protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
These key ingredients physically block the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays without irritating your baby’s sensitive skin. Otherwise, try to keep your baby covered.