With the weather warming and sunny days upon us it’s important to be sun safe with babies and young children.  There are many strategies you can employ to protect their delicate skin from harmful UV rays. Young children are more vulnerable to sunburn and heat-related illnesses, so it’s essential to take proactive measures to ensure their health and safety while enjoying outdoor activities. Let’s look at some key tips on how to be sun safe with babies and toddlers.


Time Your Outdoor Activities

The sun's rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so it’s best to plan outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon. This way, you can avoid the peak hours of UV radiation and minimize the risk of sunburn.

Use Protective Clothing

Dressing your child in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers their arms and legs can offer excellent protection from the sun. Look for clothes with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, which indicates how effective the fabric is at blocking UV rays. A wide-brimmed hat can shield their face, neck, and ears, while sunglasses can protect their eyes.

Apply Sunscreen

For babies over 6 months, choose a sunscreen specifically formulated for babies and toddlers, preferably one that is broad-spectrum and at least SPF30. Apply it generously to all exposed skin, including the face, neck, arms, and legs, and be sure to reapply every two hours, or more frequently if your child is swimming or sweating. Remember to test a small amount on your child’s skin to ensure there are no allergic reactions.

Seek Shade

When possible, stay in the shade during peak sun hours. Use a stroller with a canopy or an umbrella to provide your child with protection from the sun when you're out and about. If you’re spending time at the beach or park, bring a beach tent or sunshade for your child to relax under.

Keep Hydrated

Heat can be dehydrating, so it’s important to keep your baby or toddler hydrated while outdoors. Offer water frequently, especially if they are playing in the sun for extended periods.

Be Mindful of Reflective Surfaces

Water, sand, and snow can reflect the sun’s rays and increase the risk of sunburn. Be extra vigilant in these environments and make sure your child is well protected.

Monitor Your Child’s Exposure

Keep an eye on your child while they play outside, ensuring they don’t stay in direct sunlight for too long. Take breaks indoors or in the shade to give their skin a chance to cool down.

Set a Good Example

Children often mimic the behaviors they see from their parents. By practicing sun safety yourself—wearing sunscreen, hats, and protective clothing—you can set a great example for your child.


Protecting your baby or toddler from the sun’s harmful rays is essential for their long-term health and safety. By following these sun-safe strategies, you can enjoy outdoor time together with peace of mind. Remember, teaching your child good sun safety habits from a young age can help them develop lifelong habits for skin health.