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Baby Sunscreen a Must – Crucial New Medical Guidelines

by kelly / March, 28 2018 01:30

Photo of baby boy in his swim trunks playing in the sand with his toys on a beach

There are milestones in every baby’s life: crawling, walking, talking, and now you can add wearing sunscreen. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) just updated their recommendation – parents should know children as young as 6 months must wear sunscreen.

The previous guideline recommended counseling adults about sun protection for kids starting from age 10 but the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently updated their recommendation to children as young as 6 months.

Sun Protection is a MUST Starting At 6 Months

Before, the USPTF advised counseled parents of children 10 years an older about the need to wear sunblock. Well, that’s all changed.

Today the USPSTF updated their recommendations saying it’s crucial for kids as young as 6 months to use sunscreen. Now a 6 month old can’t really do this themselves, so their guidelines specify counseling the parents. That’s a pretty dramatic change. Previously recommending it for parents of 10-year olds and now parents of 6-month-old infants. It just goes to show how important sun protection is to reducing the immediate risks of UV exposure like sunburn and the long term risks like skin cancer.

Just to fill you in, the USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that was formed in 1984. Its members are medical professionals from all different fields of practice. In 1998 the US Congress authorized the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to convene the USPSTF and to provide ongoing scientific, administrative, and dissemination support to them.

Sun Protection for Babies Under 6 Months

So you might be wondering what about babies under 6 months? Well the recommendation by the US Food & Drug Administration and Skin Cancer Foundation is to keep them out of the sun period. Their young little skin is so delicate you just want to avoid direct sunlight as much as possible. That can be difficult to do, so make sure to use hats, long sleeves, covered strollers and so on to help out.

More Sun Protection Tips

Sun protection is vital for preventing skin damage and skin aging. As you can see from the USPSTF’s recommendation it’s important to start good sun habits early on. Good sun habits include wearing sunscreen everyday, covering up, seeking shade – you can find a good list here.

For even more sun safety information and recommendations check out our Suncare Smarts blog series.

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