For your baby between 0 and 6 months' old
This stage is when your baby's skin is at its most vulnerable, and special care should be taken to protect it.
- Consider staying indoors with your baby during moderate and high UV times (when the UV level is 3 or above) and time your outdoor activities to take place before 11am or after 5pm. The higher the UV level (or outdoor temperature), the greater the need to keep your baby inside.
- Keep your baby protected from direct sunlight, even during low UV times (when the UV level is below 3), by sticking to shady areas and using a pram shade and other forms of sun protection for babies.
- Use sun protection methods which create a physical barrier between your baby and the sun, such as pram shades, large-brimmed sun hats which shield the eyes, ears and neck, and clothing which covers the arms and legs. You can also try sunglasses if your baby will tolerate them.
- You may choose to apply a sunscreen designed specifically for babies, to small unclothed areas (such as their nose). However, creating a physical barrier between the sun and your baby should remain the first line of defence.
- In the car, use a shade or barrier to block the UV rays coming through the backseat window to where your baby is sitting. Don't cover your baby's capsule seat as this could cause heat stress and NEVER leave your baby unattended in a car.
- Make sure your pram cover provides adequate ventilation for your baby. You can do this by leaving side air gaps. In hot weather, you can also try removing the back panel of your stroller (if possible).
- In hot weather, don't forget to keep your baby well hydrated by offering more breastfeeds or bottle feeds and check on their temperature frequently by placing your hand against the skin of their torso.
For your baby between 6 and 12 months' old
You should continue to follow the guidelines above, however:
- During low UV times, you can start to expose your baby to limited amounts of direct sunlight without using sun protection. However, you should still use sun protection on your baby if you are near reflective surfaces such as snow, sand or water.
- At this stage, you can choose to use sunscreen as part of your baby's sun care routine, however barrier methods of sun protection remain the primary way to protect your baby's skin, and sunscreen should only be used as the last line of defence.
For your baby above 12 months' old
- You can take your baby out during low UV times without sun protection (except if you are near reflective surfaces or if you are outside for an extended period of time).
Further information on sun protection for babies, use of sunscreens on babies and babies and hot weather