Back to Knowledge Center Results

Sun Safety Tips for Newborn Babies

​​​​It's summertime and the whole family wants to be outdoors. But warm weather presents unique challenges for keeping baby safe from too much sun, dehydration, hot car interiors and insects.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends keeping baby out of direct exposure to the sun. Keep them in a shaded area, whether that's under the shade of a tree, an umbrella or the canopy of your stroller. When baby does need to be in the sun, make the time short and infrequent.

Wide-brimmed sunhats are important. Don't sacrifice cute for protection when you know you'll be spending a lot of time in the sun.

Sunscreen is a must when baby is in the sun. If you're concerned about allergic reactions, consult your Boys Town Pediatrician, but do not forgo a high SPF sunscreen for those worries. Apply sunscreen only on areas where baby will be exposed: scalp, face and neck; hands, arms and shoulder; and feet and legs.

Sunscreen Tips:

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that covers both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use an SPF of at least 15, more if possible.
  • Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Reapply every 1-2 hours depending on your activity, even when using waterproof sunscreen.​

How Much Sun Is Too Much Sun?

There's no real concrete time frame. Keep in mind these important factors:

  • The danger for baby is exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays of the sun.
  • UV rays are most intense from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The further south you are in the Northern Hemisphere, the more intense the UV rays.
  • Any significant body of water, even a splash pool, can intensify the rays of the sun.
  • While partly cloudy conditions can diminish UV rays, you should still treat those days as sunny days.

For example, if you want some beach time, try to go early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Keep your sun sessions short. If you're feeling overheated or tired from the sun, your baby feels the same way.

Early signs of too much sun for baby:

  • Flushing of the cheeks
  • Sweat beads on baby's forehead
  • Becoming fussy or irritable
  • Overly tired
  • Not changing wet diapers as often (dehydration)
  • Changes in feeding behavior​

If baby does develop a sunburn, don't panic. It's something that can happen inadvertently. First, take baby inside to a cool room. If baby is a newborn to under one year, call your pediatrician for advice immediately as sunburns in small infants can become a medical emergency. You can apply cool washcloths or a wrap until you hear from your doctor. Boys Town Pediatrics offers same-day appointments if you need to see us right away.

If you notice you or another family member is getting dehydrated while outside, baby may be too. Be sure to offer baby a bottle or allow them to nurse more frequently. Dehydration in infants can be serious, so monitor this closely when the temperatures are high.

Planning Is Key​

Having a new baby in the house doesn't mean the outdoor fun has to end. But planning ahead for shady spots, appropriate clothing, hats and those cute baby sunglasses, as well as sunscreen and frequent hydration breaks, can make your outings less stressful.

Health and Safety;Newborn;Outdoors Pediatrics