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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Sunscreen for Babies? Yes or No?

It’s finally summer and you’re looking forward to spending time outside, whether it be at the pool, the beach, or the ball field. As adults, we know that sunscreen is a must, especially in the summer. However, what about babies? The answer lies in their age.

    The skin of an infant, 6 months or younger is different than that of older infants, children, and adults. It is thinner as they have a higher surface -area-to-body-ratio. So, their body readily absorbs anything applied to their skin. Even though most sunscreens made for infants and children are chemical free and use mineral zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which sit on top of the infant’s skin, an infant younger than 6 months of age is still at risk for ingestion of the product.
    Howerver you can still safely enjoy being outside in the sun with your baby by following these precautions:
• Seek shade by using a beach umbrella, covered tent, a shade tree, or other type of shelter. Keeping baby out of the sun is the best strategy, especially during the peak hours between 10am to 4pm.
• You are bound to be in sun at some point. So, for babies, cover as much skin as possible by dressing them in lightweight long pants, light long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck. Sheer fabrics will not provide protection from the sun.
• There are many brands of children’s and infant’s clothing made of special material that provides SPF sun protection.
• According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, sunscreen may be applied to small areas on your infant such as their face.
• While spray sunscreens may offer convenience, they should never be applied directly to the face. When applying to the face, first apply to the hands and then rub on. However, we recommend against spray-on sunscreens in general. The inhalation risks are too great, especially for infants and younger children.
• The heat of a summer day can pose a risk for infants, even in the shade. Their skin doesn’t sweat like that of adults and older children, so they can easily become overheated.
• Increase fluid intake to avoid dehydration, which becomes more dangerous while outdoors in the heat. Monitor urine output. If it seems like less than normal, increase the amount of fluids.
    Enjoy the outdoors with the whole family, including baby, by following the above guidelines. Consult your dermatologist if you have any concerns or questions about protecting your baby from the sun.

    For more information or to schedule an appointment, you may contact the Dermatology and Mohs Surgery Institute at 309-451-DERM (3376) dermatologistbloomington.com. Dr. Leone and Dr. Schupbach, both residents of Bloomington, are board-certified dermatologists, specializing in both medical and cosmetic dermatology, including the treatment of skin cancer, moles, acne, rashes, warts, and all skin disorders. Their practice, is located at 3024 E. Empire St., in the Advocate BroMenn outpatient center.



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