Summer Sun Safety

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Pregnant and love being outdoors in the sun?  Whether you’re walking, biking, swimming, or just enjoying a picnic, please follow these precautions.

Use sunscreen: The best choices of sunscreen are creams and lotions containing zinc oxide.  Avoid sunscreen containing bug repellents and oils.  Find a brand offering UVA and UVB protection that is water resistant.  Use sunscreen with at least SPF 30, which blocks 97% of UVB rays.  UVB rays can cause sunburn and can contribute to cancer.  Sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes prior to going outside and then reapplied every 2 hours.  Apply approximately 1 ounce of lotion over your body, including your face, ears, nose and neck.

Avoid the sun between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  Your skin is more sensitive to the sun while you are pregnant, so move to the shade.

Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes, wide brim hats, and sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Avoid becoming overheated and dehydrated by drinking plenty of water while outdoors.

baby boy playing in grass

Sun Safety for Infants

Babies burn more easily than adults, so please follow these points to keep your baby safe while they are outside.

Keep your baby out of direct sunlight between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM.  Sit under a tree, use an umbrella or a stroller with the hood up.

Dress your baby in long sleeves and long pants.  The material can be lightweight as long as it is a tight weave to help block out the sun.  Have your baby wear a wide brim hat.  

Provide child size sunglasses with UV protection for baby.

If your baby is less than 6 months old, avoid sunscreen.

If your baby is older than 6 months old, test the sunscreen on your baby at home for any allergic reactions before using outdoors.  Generously apply the lotion or cream to all areas of the body and reapply every 2 hours.  Use creams or lotions that contain zinc oxide.  Avoid spray sunscreen for babies and small children.  (For more information on safe sunscreens, go to Environmental Working Group at:

Keep baby hydrated by nursing frequently, especially if baby is sweating or thirsty.

When traveling in the car, position the baby in the rear middle seat to avoid the sun shining directly on the baby.

What to do if the baby gets sunburned? 

  • Get baby out of the sun
  • Keep baby well hydrated
  • Give baby a lukewarm bath
  • Call your pediatrician if your baby is under 6 months old or if they are older than 6 months and blisters appear, or if baby is in pain and has a fever
  • Keep the baby out of the sun until they are healed