The 411 on fun in the sun

3-6 months Sunscreen

•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.

Bug spray

•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

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