Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants?

What you need to know about sun safety for your infant

(RxWiki News) Can you put sunscreen on babies? It's a question that comes up for many parents in the summer. Read on for the answer.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that sunscreen is not recommended for infants younger than 6 months old.

The best way to protect your infant is to keep them out of the sun altogether.

Infants are at greater risk for side effects caused by sunscreen, such as rashes. To keep your infant protected, the FDA advises against being outside with your infant between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun's rays are the strongest.

Also, dress your infant in protective clothing. This includes shirts, shorts and a hat with a brim. When possible, long-sleeved shirts and long pants are the best option.

Note, however, a plain white T-shirt provides minimal sun protection, with a UPF of about 7. That's why other types of protection, such as shade, are extremely important.

Some clothes are actually certified under international standards for sun protection. They usually come with information on their ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). Sun-protective clothing offers more protection — typically offering a minimum of UPF 30.

The FDA encourages parents to ask their doctors about applying sunscreen to babies younger than 6 months. For babies older than 6 months, experts recommend applying sunscreen according to the sunscreen label.

On a related note, storing sunscreen incorrectly can affect its condition. Sunscreen should never be exposed to direct sunlight.

Instead, protect your sunscreen by wrapping the bottle or tube in towels or keeping it in the shade. You can also place the sunscreen in a cooler while outside, according to the FDA.

Talk to your pharmacist if you have any questions about protecting your family this summer.