The Best Sun Protection for Babies and Kids

by Jana K. Hoffman
June 30, 2019

You ever see those precious little sunshines at the beach with their adorable pigtails and itty-bitty baby swimsuits making sandcastles and running at waves? But then you notice that their skin is turning bright pink from sun exposure. Sunscreen for the family is super important, especially if you have kids.

We’re pretty goo-goo gaga over everyday sun protection. This is especially true for babies and kids. Their perfectly smooth skin is honestly something to be envied. But it also needs to be shielded from those harmful UVA and UVB rays when they’re rolling around in strollers and throwing sand around on beaches. Sun protection for babies and kids starts with a responsible adult. You’re already wearing sunscreen (every day, we hope) so sharing this simple habit with them can have literal lifesaving effects.

Keep in mind: Not all sunscreens are created equal. You’ll need to choose a sunscreen formulated with babies and kids in mind.

Here’s why.

Their skin is really sensitive. So, it requires a gentle sunscreen formula. Most sunscreens that are labeled with “baby” or “kids” are made with the active ingredients titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are minerals and less likely to irritate their skin.

Yes, we’re totally gung-ho on sunscreen application. But babies under the age of six months are too itty bitty and not quite ready for it. This is the only age restriction we’ll ever give you. Ever. Anyone older than six months is fair game.

Since infants under the age of six months can’t wear sunscreen, you’ll need to protect them from the sun in other ways. Think hats, lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants, sunglasses and lots of shade. No, not that kind of shade.

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For kiddos older than six months, you’ll want to slather on a sunscreen for babies or kids. The same reapplication rules apply to little ones, too. Every two hours, especially if they’re splish-splashing around in pools and chasing waves at the beach. Keep their skin extra safe and dress them in sun protection options like the ones we just mentioned above.

Having trouble getting them to apply it? Turn sunscreen time into playtime and make it less about sunscreen and more about face painting using sunscreen lotion or cream.

Beyond the sunscreen, hydration is key if you’re spending time outside on a hot day. Babies are at risk of overheating so make sure they’re drinking plenty of liquids. In the name of practicing safe suncare, take fussy infants inside if you notice redness on exposed skin or if they’re crying excessively.

Families who sunscreen together stay together, right? Right. Teach them young by encouraging sunscreen application with you every time.



I’m a writer, rescue dog owner, tattoo collector and traveler who shamelessly has an 8-step skincare routine.

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