HEALTH

Is Infant Sunscreen Safe For Kids Who Suck Their Fingers?

There’s a lot that you have to think about when you’re the parent of a young child, with one of the most important things being sun protection. Infant sunscreen is specially formulated for protecting the delicate skin of young kids, so the natural question is – is it safe?

More specifically, the question we’re trying to answer here is whether it’s safe for young kids who tend to put everything they see in their mouth – including their fingers! 

Over 6 Months of Age – You Should Be Fine

The short answer to the question is yes, it is, so long as you’re using a sunscreen that’s specifically created for toddlers and young children. Of course, under the age of 6 months, your child shouldn’t be out in the sun at all, but after that, you should be fine, as infant sunscreen products tend to be free of the harsher chemicals found in adult sunscreens. 

If you want to be 100% certain, we’d recommend going for a kid’s mineral sunscreen product as they’re not only harder to lick off, but are created with naturally occurring compounds like zinc oxide. That said, if they do lick any off, be sure to reapply to avoid painful sunburn. 

Under Six months of Age – Keep Them In the Shade 

When your child is still a baby under the age of 6 months, shade should be sufficient, so you don’t really need to be worrying about what sunscreen to use just yet. Keep your baby under a parasol, canopy or in the shade of trees and that should be more than enough. 

Even after you do start using infant sunscreen on your child after the age of 6 months, it doesn’t mean they’re ready to go outside in nothing but their swimming costume. You should still be keeping their delicate skin covered with closely woven, light clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect their neck, ears and face. 

You should also be liberally applying sunscreen to every area of skin that’s exposed to direct sunlight and you’ll need at least a product with an SPF of at least 30. Also, remember to ensure that you get a broad spectrum to protect against both UVA & UVB rays.

One Big Difference Between Mineral & Chemical Sunscreens 

Something else you need to take into account is that mineral and chemical sunscreens are very different in terms of how you use them. For instance, when you’re applying chemical sunscreen to your infant, they’re not protected straight away. It takes up to ½ hour for it to become properly absorbed and provide the protection it states on the bottle. 

However, with mineral sunscreen, it offers protection from the instant it’s applied. It is a lot thicker too, so you will ultimately use a lot less of it. Economy is just one of many reasons why there’s a big trend of people moving from chemical brands to mineral-based products. There are many more, but that’s for another blog at another time! 

Use Infant Sunscreen & Let Them Enjoy the Sun!

If you’re unsure in any way about the sunscreen you’re using for your little one, always read the label and see what’s inside. For toddler and baby sunscreens, it’s generally going to be full of super-gentle ingredients, but it never hurts to check. 

Just follow the advice shown here and there’s no reason why your little ones should ever know the pain and discomfort that comes with sunburn. 

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