Choosing a sunscreen for a baby

It is sometimes difficult to find your way among all these choices of sunscreens for babies and young children! Here is an article written by Nathalie Gagnon to help you choose the right sunscreen!

If you like the sun, cream yourself!!!

With the good weather showing up, Nathalie Gagnon, mother-pharmacist, agreed to share her tips on the subject.

Remember that sunscreens are not enough to protect you from the sun. Favor shade, dark clothes, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, avoid exposure to the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and show these healthy habits to your little ones.

You can be reassured about UVB protection by the sun protection factor (SPF). For your children, bet on an SPF of 30. The recommended frequency of application every 2 hours is more important than a higher SPF. As for UVA protection, look for a combination of the following ingredients: zinc oxide, (yep, the one you put on your little one's bottom!), titanium dioxide, Parsol 1789, also known as avobenzone, Mexoryl SX and enzacamene. The Canadian Dermatology Association logo does not guarantee you the best product. It is therefore more advisable to read the labeling for an optimal choice.

For children from 0 to 2 years old, products exclusively composed of physical filters, zinc oxide with or without titanium dioxide, seem safer. They are not absorbed by the skin and therefore do not pass into the bloodstream, unlike certain chemical filters, the most incriminated being oxybenzone, also called benzophenone-3.

For children who are difficult to cream, coat them as best you can and if you find the application not optimal, return to the filler 15 minutes later. Don't forget to protect your lips!

Be generous in your application: for the whole body, it takes about 10-15 mL for a child and 30 mL for an average sized adult. Do the math for dad in a bathing suit all day long: if he applies the screen every 80-120 minutes, his new 120 mL bottle will be empty by the end of this glorious day!

The same sunscreen can be used by the whole family. As the active ingredients end up degrading with heat, renew your screen annually, even if the expiration date has not always passed. Throwing away 3 or 4 opened bottles can hurt your heart... and your wallet!

In closing, be aware that private label products often offer products that are very comparable to major known brands at a lower cost. And watch out for dehydration: drink... water ideally! Cheeeeers!

Here are some other suggested articles to check out:

Sun: How to properly protect your child? - Born and Grow

Sun Protection for Babies - Environment Canada