Why Can't Babies Under 6 Months Use Sunscreen? – smarTrike Answers

Why Can't Babies Under 6 Months Use Sunscreen?

Learn why sunscreen isn't recommended for babies under six months, and discover sun safety tips and alternatives to protect their delicate skin.

A man in a blue shirt looking at the camera.
By George Croft
Davor Štefanović - Editor for smarTrike
Edited by Davor Štefanović

Published April 22, 2023.

Taking your baby outdoors for some fresh air is a great way to bond and explore the world together. However, it's essential to be cautious with sunlight exposure, as infants' skin is vulnerable to serious burns. Babies under six months old cannot use sunscreen due to their sensitive skin, placing them at a higher risk of sunscreen side effects, such as rashes.

In addition, the NHS recommends that babies that young should be kept out of the direct strong sunlight and dressed in lightweight clothing that covers their skin as much as possible, especially between March and October.

Sunscreen for Babies Over 6 Months

Sunscreen prevents sunburn, protects the skin, and decreases the chance of skin cancer later in life. For babies over six months, it is important to choose a sunscreen specifically formulated for their delicate skin. Look for sunscreens with gentle ingredients, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions. These sunscreens are usually labelled as "baby" or "child" sunscreen. Be cautious when applying sunscreen, avoid getting it into their eyes, and reapply as needed.

Shielding Your Baby's Skin for a Brighter Future

Sun safety is crucial for your baby's health and well-being. For babies under six months, opt for protective clothing and shade to minimise sun exposure. As they grow older, introduce gentle sunscreens to ensure they can safely enjoy the outdoors. With these precautions in place, you can create sun-smart habits for a lifetime of healthy skin.