~ By Ashley Low
Fresh air is great for the immune system and gives children a chance to wear themselves out. Whether you’re going to the zoo or the beach, for a walk around the neighborhood or a mid-day drive, there are several things parents and caretakers can do to keep little ones protected from the sun.
Before leaving the house, slather your baby in sunscreen. Although many doctors recommend using an SPF of at least 15, higher SPFs, such as 50 or 60, will help keep baby’s skin from absorbing too many UV rays. When choosing sunscreen, look for one labeled with broad spectrum. These types of lotions protect from UVA and UVB rays, both of which can damage your baby’s tender skin. Apply the sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before leaving the house and apply every two hours as needed. If your baby goes for a dip in the pool, apply more sunscreen as soon as the swim is over.
Sunscreen is a great first defense against sunburn; however, there are several other precautions parents can take to protect little ones from the sun. Always have a shady area available. Bring a pop-up tent, which also works well at sunny parks. Pick a spot under a tree for your tent. If your baby is going to spend time in the stroller, purchase a sunshade, many of which offer UV protection. Usually designed with a mesh portion, sunshades protect babies while allowing caretakers a way to visually assess little ones. The sun’s rays, which can reflect from surfaces such as water, cement and sand, are strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm, which is when shade will be needed most.
For the times when being in the sun is a must, dress children in clothing designed with UV protection. Types of clothing available include bathing suits, t-shirts and long-sleeve shirts. Also, pack a hat for your child, which should be worn at all times. Hats protect neck, head, face and ears from sunburn. When choosing the right hat to block out the sun, consider wide brims or hats with flaps specifically designed to cover baby’s neck.
Parents may wish to purchase UV-blocking sunglasses, although getting your baby to keep them on may prove challenging. Just like socks that must come off the moment they are put on, he/she may simply want to play with or remove the sunglasses. If that is the case, remember a hat and shade can help just as much.
When taking a baby out in the sun, UV rays aren’t the only concern. Children can easily suffer from heatstroke if proper precautions aren’t taken. Before leaving for a family adventure, cool off the car. Temperatures of cars that have been sitting in the sun can top sweltering in a country like Singapore. Running the air conditioning for a few minutes before loading everyone in will help keep everyone comfortable and content.
To keep baby’s arms and legs protected from the sun, parents may dress them in long sleeves and pants. Pick light colors when choosing clothes baby will wear in the sun, because they hold less heat than their dark counterparts. This will help keep their temperature from getting too high.
It is important to keep children hydrated when in the heat or sun. Depending on their age and pediatrician’s recommendation, pack water for them. For older children, fruit or vegetable juices may be recommended. For babies who only drink formula or breast milk, offer an extra feeding if baby seems thirsty or hungry.
With so many great outdoor adventures to have with your baby, pictures are going to be part of the package. For best outdoor, sunny photos, try taking them before 10am or after 4pm because the afternoon sun can cast harsh shadows. Always have a hat ready for baby. While protecting little eyes from the sun, hats will help assure that their beautiful eyes are not squinting in the photo. Consider the background before choosing clothes for your little one’s photo shoot. Don’t dress baby in all green for pictures in the park or all blue for pictures near water. Allow the outfit to stand out from the natural background.
Whether the day’s plans are swimming, walking, playing or taking memorable photos, keep your baby safe from sunburn and heatstroke for a perfect day of fun in the sun!
Having said all of the above, Ashley (our photographer) loves the outdoors a lot. She started off as a family photographer doing outdoor photoshoots for families with babies and children of different ages. For people who are interested to sign up an outdoor family photoshoot with us, we do have a recommended list of locations for you so you do not have to crack your brains too hard on where to go! Ashley’s favourite places would be Gardens by The Bay and Botanic Gardens as these two places have trees around and is also able to provide shade for you and your active children.
For more enquiries on how we can capture these beautiful outdoor moments of your children, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +65 67024252.
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