With summer time here, many families will be hitting the beach to cool down. It is a great way to unwind, have fun and beat the summer heat. So what about those parents who have newborns? I know they want to enjoy the beach as well, but realistically, what is the best age to carry a baby to the beach?
So What is the Best Age to take the Little One to the Beach?
It is important to remember that a baby’s skin is more susceptive to sunburn and irritation as it is very thin and delicate. This is why you should take extra precaution when you are taking a baby to the beach. A baby cannot speak and as such, they will not be able to tell you if they are getting too hot. At that young age, they also cannot move without the help of an adult, which means they will not be able move out of the sun if they are feeling discomfort.
So what is the best age to take a baby to the beach? The general consensus is that 6 months is the appropriate age. This is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and many doctors will agree that younger than 6 months puts them at risk. Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct and indirect sunlight because of the risk of heat stroke. Particularly, avoid having a baby out between 10 a.m and 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. (( (2013, May 11). “Baby Sunburn Prevention”. Healthychildren.org. Retrieved 2013-07-04))
If you really want to carry your baby to the beach and they are younger than 6 months old, then consult with your doctor. There are people who carry they babies at very young ages and have no problems. However, the doctor will inform you as to what’s the best option. Remember, even if you think you are being careful, you need to remember that the body temperature of babies can heat up very quickly, even if they are in the shade. Then there is also the risk of sunburn.
What to Remember When Carrying Your Baby to the Beach?
- When you are dressing your baby for the beach, you should have them in lightweight cotton clothing. The tops should have long sleeves and they should have bottoms that cover their legs. They should also wear a wide brim hat that will be able to block the sun from their face.
- When at the beach, you should try and keep the babies out of the sun and in the shade as much as possible. If there are no shaded areas on the beach, you should bring an umbrella or use the stroller canopy. Whatever is available, us it to shade the baby from the sun.
- Apply sunscreen, but remember, it is not recommended that you apply sunscreen to babies younger than 6 months old. When applying, you should cover all the areas of the baby’s skin that will be exposed. This means even the face, hands, feet and other places. You want to ensure that the baby is fully protected.
- Sunscreen should be applied 15-30 minutes before you head out into the sun on the beach. You also need to remember that you may need to reapply the sunscreen, especially if the baby is in the water. Reapply every 1-2 hours.