I'm going to be coaching a high school team outdoors this spring, from the end of March to the end of May. I plan on taking my 7 month old son with me to do this. He is happy outside and likes to be in the baby backpack on my back. However, I'm worried about his exposure to the sun. I obviously don't want him in the sun unprotected, but I wonder if there are any negative effects of sunscreen on a baby's sensitive skin if used multiple times a week?

asked 05 Mar '10, 00:18

DazedandConfused's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%


Some baby backpacks have sunshades. Is this something that might work instead of applying so much sunscreen?

(05 Mar '10, 13:20) Anne

I know that the infant sunscreen bottles say they should not be used for children under 6 months. I did find this one source discussing possible side effects but haven't looked into it in enough detail to determine if their claims have merit based on actual research. I imagine that whatever possible side effects wouldn't be as bad as the side effects of unprotected sun exposure.

Last summer I was outside with my daughter almost every day and she always had sunscreen, and depending on how long we were outside it was reapplied multiple times per day. As far as I know there have been no ill effects to date. That being said, I always tried to bathe her on days where she had been wearing sunscreen. Not because I thought there would be side effects but because I wanted to clean off any filmy residue.

EDIT: I also wanted to add in response to Igritz post not to forget the value of sun hats, sunglasses (if they'll wear them) and shade. When I took my daughter outside last summer, I always tried to be in the shade when possible and limit direct sunlight for any lengthy period of time. She also always had a sun hat on.


answered 05 Mar '10, 01:33

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Tammy ♦♦
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edited 13 Apr '10, 18:41

+1 I agree Tammy.

(05 Mar '10, 04:55) Emi

I've read and heard several places (including Pediacast -- you'll have to search, I don't remember which episode) that the problem is not that the sunscreen is harmful per se. The warning is for two reasons:

(a) Too much SUN is bad. The warning is to prevent parents from slathering the infant with sunscreen and then overexposing them to the sun. It's so easy to miss a patch of skin, not realize that they've wiped some off with drool, or forget how often to reapply. Better to just discourage any sun exposure too early, I suppose is the strategy.

(b) If the infant has some kind of bad allergic reaction to the sunscreen, it's easier to treat and revive a slightly older kid than when they're really young.


answered 05 Mar '10, 06:53

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

edited 06 Mar '10, 23:02


+1 Good points. March through to May are not very hot months I would presume, (just guessing here )and already limits the amount of sunscreen needed for exposed areas (which I guess would be cheeks, face, neck. If weather permits shorts and t-shirts then arms and legs too. So unless your son has super sensitive skin I think its a great idea that he has protected exposure to sunshine during those months.

(05 Mar '10, 10:12) Emi

In general I'm not really a "organic" person, but when it came to using sunscreen on my baby I decided that I felt more comfortable using a natural sunscreen without chemicals.

You can find lots of natural and organic sunscreens at health food stores. It is usually the popular mineral, titanium dioxide, that is found in many of these natural/organic sun lotions.

I like a brand called Alba Botanical because I think it smells yummy. :)

Here's an article on organic sunscreen if you are interested.


answered 08 Mar '10, 06:51

Sabrina's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

Our pediatrician recommended sticking with a PABA free brand.


answered 12 Apr '10, 23:53

Prea's gravatar image

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Asked: 05 Mar '10, 00:18

Seen: 3,607 times

Last updated: 13 Apr '10, 18:41