Sun Protection for Babies Under 6 Months Old

Is it safe to use sunscreen on a newborn? Should I keep my baby out of the sun completely? Get the answers to these questions and more.

Until recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended not using sunscreen on infants under the age of 6 months. This recommendation was not based on evidence that the use of sunscreen is harmful, but rather on the fact that its use had not been proven to be harmless.

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The AAP still recommends avoiding excessive sun exposure – by staying out of the mid-day sun and dressing infants in lightweight long pants and long-sleeved shirts – as the best protection against sunburn. But, according to the AAP, it may be safe to apply very small amounts of sunscreen to small areas of an infant’s face and the back of the hands when adequate clothing and shade are not available.

In addition to possible sunburn, infants and children may be at increased risk for eye injury from the sun. The AAP says children, including infants, should wear hats with a brim and sunglasses designed to block at least 99 percent of the sun’s rays.

Return to our Summer Safety Survival Guide.