With so many different options on the market for sunscreen, choosing sun protection for kids can be a challenging and confusing process for parents, especially for your youngest children. Your baby’s skin is very delicate and sensitive, and could be damaged by harsh products, so it is important to know what you are looking for before you buy. Below is some advice for choosing adequate sunscreen for kids over the age of six months*.
Ingredients to check for in sunscreen, as well as those to avoid, include the following recommended by Time Health & Family:
- Zinc is the best UV filter, but titanium dioxide is also a good alternative. Avobenzone is a good additional UVA filter.
- Seek products that do not contain parabens, especially long chain parabens such as butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, and isopropylparaben, as these can mimic estrogen and disrupt normal hormone function. Shorter chain parabens, like ethylparaben and methylparaben, have fewer associated hazards, but it is still better to find a product without any.
- Steer clear of oxybenzone as this is another chemical that may disrupt hormone function.
- Avoid retinyl palmitate in sun protection for kids as this can speed up development of skin tumors and lesions when skin is exposed to the sun.
Other factors to consider include:
- Choosing a sunscreen with SPF of at least 30, as this will block at least 97 percent of the sun’s rays. While higher factor sunscreen will block slightly more UV rays, no product can provide 100 percent protection, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
- The Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding combined sunscreen and insect repellant products, as sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours while most insect repellents last much longer.
- If your child is susceptible to allergic reactions or skin irritation, the AAD advises finding a physical or chemical-free product.
Your baby’s eyes also need to be protected from the sun, which is why Real Kids Shades offers sunglasses designed especially for babies. All of our shades provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection and shield the delicate skin around the eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Visit our website to check out our range of products and to make a purchase.
*Sunscreen is generally not recommended for babies under the age of six months because of their highly sensitive skin. The AAD recommends keeping babies 0-6 months in age out of the sun or protecting their skin with long sleeves, pants, a wide-brim hat, and sunglasses. If you have questions, contact your child’s pediatrician.