A sunny summer's day is best enjoyed by your little one in the shade. Sunshine and babies is not a good combination. Sunlight can cause burns and can seriously damage your baby's delicate skin.
It's estimated that over 80 per cent of the damage to our skin from the sun is done before the age of eighteen. The younger the child, the more sensitive their very thin skin is. But it's great to get outside and enjoy sunny days if you do it right.
The sun can make your pram as hot as a greenhouse
There are various reasons why parents cover the opening of the pram. We may want to protect our baby from noise and light, or give them peace and quiet during a nap. But tests show that it can be as much as seventeen degrees hotter under the cover compared to outside when the pram is in direct sunlight. Some children complain by grumbling or crying if they are too hot, but infants can react by going quiet.
One way to tell if your baby is too hot is to feel with your finger to check whether their neck is sweaty. And even if the pram is in the shade, use a thinner cloth or mosquito net that lets in lots of air.
Shade, light clothes and a sunhat for baby rather than sun cream
Do not use sun cream on babies less than one year old, as their skin has not yet fully developed. Instead, protect your child's skin with thin cotton clothes and let them stay in the shade. A parasol or other sun protection can be helpful.
Sun protection for children
Never expose infants to direct sunlight. Also be careful with indirect sunlight reflecting off water and sand, even under a parasol. In summer time, the sun is strongest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. It's best to go out a little later in the afternoon, when the day is cooler – and even then, stay in the shade. You can buy sunglasses for children with adjustable straps to hold them in place. This is handy in strong sunlight, but as we've already said, the best approach is to make sure your child is protected from direct sunlight.