The 411 on fun in the sun
Thursday, April 16, 2009
• Cover up. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends dressing infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts and brimmed hats to avoid sunburn.
• Stay in the shade and limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
• The AAP discourages use of sunscreen for babies less than 6 months old. However, if clothing and shade are not available, apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF to small areas, such as the face and back of hands, at least 30 minutes before going outside.
• If an infant gets sunburn, apply cold compresses.
• Avoid using scented soaps and bright colors or flowery prints.
• Dress baby in long pants and sleeves and use mosquito netting over infant carriers.
• Insect repellents containing DEET (safe concentrations of less than 30 percent) can be used on babies older than 2 months. Apply to exposed skin or clothing, but avoid getting it under clothing or near irritated skin. Spray your hands and rub on baby. Oil of lemon eucalyptus and combination sunscreen/bug spray products should not be used.
• To help with itchiness or rash from insect bite, apply hydrocortisone 1 percent cream or topical antihistamine (such as Benadryl). Acetaminophen can be given for discomfort.
• Call your doctor for persistent pain or itching or signs of infection, which include redness, warmth, swelling or drainage, or fever.
Source: Pediatrician Rosalind S. Downing