Being exposed to sunlight in moderation and with the right protection can have many benefits for people of all ages. The reason behind it is that it actives vitamin D, which is extremely important for the body. It helps your organism process calcium, which is essential for growth and to maintain strong teeth and bones. Keep in mind, however, that you need to be cautious, especially when it comes to newborns and babies. Just like the rest of their body, their skin is very sensitive, so it can be very harmful for them to be directly exposed to sunlight.
How can I protect my baby?
Babies who are less than one year old should not be exposed to direct sunlight at all. When they get to one year old, it is time to introduce sunscreen into their routine for the parts of the body that clothes don’t already cover. Make sure the sun protection factor is at least 50 and adapted for children. It is also important to remember to apply it on all the exposed areas thirty minutes before going out and reapply it every two hours. There is a broad variety of sunscreens available on the market, specially designed for your baby’s sensitive skin.
How should I think during the winter?
During the winter, vitamin D levels lower significantly due to the decrease in sun light. For adults and older children, this deficiency can be overcome with supplements and through food. A baby, however, especially if they are under six-months old, relies exclusively on the nutrients found in formula or breastmilk, which is not a decent source of vitamin D. Especially when the mother has a deficiency, her milk will not provide it in enough quantities for her baby. But there is no need to panic, there are supplements available for both. For adults, they come in different forms, pills being the most used kind. Whereas for babies, they come in drops. If your child is at risk for a vitamin D deficiency consult a health care professional to find the solution that fits the best and prescribe a supplement if necessary.
How should I give my baby vitamin D supplements?
First, always remember that you should only give your baby any medicine if it has been prescribed by a healthcare professional. If they did find it necessary, there are two ways to give them the drops, you can either put on your nipples before feeding your baby or by putting the drops directly in their mouth.
References: - Hudterapeuten: Så väljer du solskydd till bebis och barn. (2021, March 10). Apohem. - Skin Cancer Foundation. (2021, August 24). Sun-Safe Babies. The Skin Cancer Foundation. - Vitamin D & Your Baby. (2021). KidsHealth NZ.