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Risks of sun exposure for babies

Baby sleeping under musluv baby sun shade cover

As loving parents, we need to be especially careful when protecting our babies’ skin from harmful UV rays. Find out below all you need to know about taking care of your baby's skin outdoors.

What do I need to know about the sun and my baby’s skin?

Did you know that, according to dermatologists, the dangers of the sun exposure for babies are significantly higher than for others?

  • Babies’ skins are much thinner than adults’ and absorb UV rays more readily, allowing them to pass through to their delicate tissues.
  • Babies are also more vulnerable to sun damage because their skins contain a much lower percentage of melanin, the body’s natural defence against the sun.
  • Sun damage for babies is even more serious than for adults because babies have a higher skin to body weight ratio. This means that (relative to their weight) babies can absorb a lot more harmful UV rays through their skins than adults can.
  • Incidental sun exposure (such as inside a car, in the shade or on a cloudy day) is also linked to skin cancer. Even the very first summer of a baby’s life can cause UV-related changes in skin cells.
  • Worryingly, just one case of bad sunburn for a baby or toddler can more than double the chances of melanoma in later life.

Should I only be concerned about sun care 
for my baby’s skin during summer?

Unfortunately not! Sun protection for babies is still really important the rest of the year. Did you know these surprising facts?

  • The Skin Cancer Foundation and other expert bodies recommend that babies under 6 months' old are not exposed to direct sunlight at any time of day, at any time of year.
  • For babies between 6 and 12 months' old, it is recommended that they are not exposed to direct sun rays whenever the UV Index reaches 3 or above. The UV Index can easily reach 3 or above during those autumn and winter days when you decide to take your baby out for a walk to get some fresh air.
  • There is hardly a day during winter or summer that harmful UV rays do not occur and your baby's skin "remembers" each exposure it has.
  • UV radiation can pass through light cloud cover. When you take a quick trip to the shops with your baby and there is a broken cloud layer in the sky, the UV radiation levels can be similar to that of a sunny day - and in fact, can be more, because the bottoms and edges of clouds reflect and scatter UV rays.

What’s the problem with using normal muslin wraps as a baby sun shade for my baby’s skin?

Ordinary muslin wraps are not designed to be used in the sun. They are thin and porous, meaning that UV rays can easily pass through to your baby’s skin underneath. In fact, independent tests show normal muslin wraps provide no protection against the sun.

So, how DO I keep my baby’s skin safe whilst we
enjoy being outdoors?

As a caring parent, your baby’s sun safety and health are paramount. You can keep your baby’s skin protected from the sun’s rays by using our musluv baby sun covers which provide a safe barrier between your baby’s skin and damaging UV rays.