Your Baby & Toddler - - Talking Point -

While keep­ing your baby’s skin mois­turised is key, pro­tect­ing their del­i­cate skin from sun dam­age is just as im­por­tant. Cape Town-based der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Vanessa Lap­iner says the best way to pro­tect your baby’s skin from the harm­ful rays of the sun is to keep them away from the sun. “For ba­bies up to six months old, use phys­i­cal bar­ri­ers against the sun, such as long-sleeved cloth­ing, hats, um­brel­las and other cov­ers, and a min­eral-based sun­screen cream such as zinc ox­ide or ti­ta­nium diox­ide, which re­flects light and isn’t ab­sorbed by the skin. More im­por­tant than any phys­i­cal or chem­i­cal bar­rier against sun dam­age is keep­ing your chil­dren out of the sun dur­ing the hottest part of the day – between about 10am and 4pm,” Dr Lap­iner ad­vises.

For older tod­dlers, chem­i­cal sun­screen creams, which are made with larger mol­e­cules to en­able less ab­sorp­tion, can be used. Chem­i­cal sun­screens work by chang­ing the sun’s UV rays into heat, then re­leas­ing that heat from the skin. “Look for those con­tain­ing the or­ganic sun­block mex­o­ryl or the block­ing sun fil­ter tinosorb,” ad­vises Dr Lap­iner. “These have prop­er­ties that both ab­sorb and re­flect rays, and have the low­est in­ci­dence of skin ir­ri­ta­tion.”

Re­mem­ber, the rule of thumb is that your child can never have too much sun pro­tec­tion.

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