How to Choose a Sunscreen for Your Child

Being a parent is hard enough with all the decisions you need to make on a daily basis. Taking care of your child’s skin should be just as up there on the list as any other health concern you may have for your child.

“When it comes to children, sunscreen is not enough,” stated Dr. Andrea Garrett, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology. “Just five blistering sunburns can increase a child’s risk of developing melanoma by 80 percent.

Sunscreen is a good start though. When deciding how to choose a sunscreen for your child, look for sunscreen labeled “Baby”. This generally means the sunscreen contains only the active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These two ingredients are less likely to irritate a baby’s sensitive skin. Sunscreen on children under the age of 6 months should be extremely limited unless use is absolutely warranted. “If shade and correct clothing are not available, you may apply a minimal amount of sunscreen to their child’s skin so long as it is baby formulated for sensitive skin.”

As Dr. Garrett stated though, with children sunscreen is simply not enough to provide proper protection. To help ensure your child’s safety, keep your baby and young children in the shade, away from the sun while also dressing them in sun-protective clothing such as a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, pants and a wide-brimmed hat.

“Sun protection is important at every age of life. It should not be ignored during infancy. If anything it should be more of a concern. It’s a great time to teach your child to embrace sunscreen and learn that having tan lines isn’t the best thing in the world,” added Dr. Andrea Garrett.

Get Checked.
Regardless of whether you have noticed an odd or changing mole on yourself or your child, a yearly skin examination is always recommended as a preventative measure to skin cancer. The skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to see you for a simple, 10 minute skin cancer screening. Find a dermatologist near you.