The sun's rays have numerous effects on our health. These effects become even more important when it comes to babies. Vitamin D, which regulates calcium metabolism and supports bone growth, is synthesized by sunlight. However, despite all these benefits, there are important points to be considered against the sun.
Acıbadem Kozyatağı Hospital Pediatrics Specialist Dr. Eda Sünnetçi stated that it is important for babies and small children to benefit from the blessings of the sun, saying, “However, going out in the sun at inappropriate times and staying for a long time can cause heat strokes and sunburns. For this reason, babies need to be exposed to the sun at the right times, with appropriate clothes and using creams that protect them from the harmful effects of sun rays.” says.
Prevents vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can cause delayed closure of fontanelles, teeth eruption, delay in sitting and walking, and even the baby's restlessness and loss of appetite. Emphasizing that sun rays should be used to prevent this deficiency, Acıbadem Kozyatağı Hospital Pediatrics Specialist Dr. Eda Sünnetçi also gives important warnings about the points that parents should be careful about. Explaining that babies' skin is thinner than adults and therefore they are sensitive to the harmful rays of the sun, Dr. Eda Sunnetci continues:
“When babies are exposed to unprotected sunlight, their skin can develop sunburn. What needs to be done against sunburn depends on how much damage the skin has taken. For example, if a superficial sunburn has occurred, if your child's skin is red and sensitive, and if there is a feeling of stinging, it is good to take a warm bath and then apply thick layers of moisturizing cream. In addition, the baby should not be taken out of the sun for a few days. Severe sunburn may cause blisters or sunstroke fever, headache, or chills. If these symptoms are present, medical attention should be sought.”
7 important rules
While protecting the skin of babies, taking them out to the sun at the right times, wearing appropriate clothes, not neglecting accessories such as hats and using protective creams are at the top of the to-do list. Dr. Eda Sünnetçi lists her suggestions on this subject as follows:
- Avoid exposing your baby to direct sun. Be especially careful between 11:00 and 16:00 when the sun's rays are steep. If you are outside between these hours, stay in the shade.
- Do not leave your baby naked or in a swimsuit in direct sunlight at any time. Young children should be clothed when exposed to the sun.
- Choose loose, full cotton clothing that filters UV rays.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- Choose sunglasses that are suitable for your baby or child's face, have a CE standard and have UV category 3-4.
- Compared to adults, a newborn baby's body consists of more water and is therefore more sensitive to heat. This increases the risk of dehydration. It is necessary to breastfeed babies more frequently in sunny weather or to give more water if they are over 6 months old. Young children should not be expected to be thirsty, water should be given regularly.
- It is essential to use protective creams from the sun's harmful rays to protect your baby's body. You can also make use of a spray of water sprays to help cool it down.
Apply the cream 20 minutes before going out in the sun.
It is important to use a sunscreen with a high protection factor (SFP 50 or 50+), which is special for babies, to avoid burns in babies. Suggesting that products with SFP 30 or 50 factors should be preferred in children, Dr. Eda Sünnetçi on the use of sunscreen, "Apply in thick layers 20 minutes before exposure to the sun. Apply more intense sunscreen to more sensitive areas such as forehead, cheekbones, nose and lips. Apply sunscreen every two hours and cream the whole body again as soon as the baby is out of the water. Continue to use sunscreen whether in the shade or in cloudy weather. That's because more than 80 percent of UV rays pass through clouds,” he says. Dr. Eda Sünnetçi states that babies' skin should be moisturized with lotion after the sun.