The best way to protect babies is to avoid direct sun exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., said Dr. Jay Joo, a pediatrician at UCLA Health.
If that's not possible, then make sure the baby has a wide-brimmed hat and long pants and long-sleeved shirts made of lightweight materials. Sunglasses are a good idea, too, if the baby will wear them, Joo added in a news release from the University of California, Los Angeles.
A small amount of sunscreen can be applied to the hands and other exposed areas of skin on babies up to 6 months of age. Apply a tiny bit first to make sure the sunscreen doesn't irritate their skin, he suggested.
Liberal amounts of sunscreen can be used on babies over 6 months of age and older children, Joo said.
Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30. Put the sunscreen on your baby at least 15 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours and after the baby swims or sweats, Joo said.
If your baby does get too much sun, a cool compress or a calamine or aloe-based lotion may help with the discomfort, Joo suggested.
The Skin Cancer Foundation offers sun safety tips for infants, babies and toddlers.
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