With Summer now upon us it is worth thinking about how you’ll tackle summer sunshine (harmful UV rays) and bugs such as mosquitos and midges.
Mosquitos and midges are drawn to babies and prefer them to adults simply because their skin is soft so they are an easy target. The ideal scenario would be to keep them inside, but that is not always practical or possible.
Here are some points to help you navigate summer sun and bug protection for baby this summer:
- Use mosquito nets over cots during summer
- Do not use spray-on insect repellents on babies under two months old
- Use a repellent with less than 10% DEET (or picaridin)
- Older than two months, spray repellent on to your hand, then wipe on to your baby’s clothing.
- Do not use repellent on their hands, near their eyes or near any rashes they may have.
- Sunscreen and insect repellent used at the same time can increase the chance of the DEET being absorbed into the skin, so avoid this combination.
- The best sunscreen for a baby is a barrier. So where possible keep them in the shade, under a tent, in light cotton clothes with long sleeves, and a wide brimmed hat or bonnet.
- If possible try to stay indoors between 10am and 4pm
- Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen can be used on babies under six months old, just ensure that it does not contain oxybenzone, and is at least SPF 30.
- Only use sunscreen on skin that is not covered by light clothing, apply 30 minutes prior to going out and reapply every two hours.
- Keep in mind that complete avoidance of the sun is not necessary, as we still require a dose of Vitamin D, which only the sun can provide, but aim for moderate sun exposure at times when the UV index is low.