View Full Version : Protecting baby from sun on beach
04-24-2002, 10:37 AM
We are going to Hilton Head Island for 4 days with our 1 year-old in mid-May. I am really excited--this is the first vacation we'll have taken since his birth (we've done other trips, but not ones solely geared toward fun and relaxation). I am trying to prepare in advance and get together items to protect our very fair-skinned, almost bald little guy from the sun.
So far, we have the Water Babies sunblock and that's about it. We are thinking of buying a UV-protection little baby wetsuit and sun hat from One Step Ahead. Has anyone used these products? I'm concerned that the wetsuit might be hot (it's roughly 80 in Hilton Head in May).
Any other recommendations for easy-to-carry sun-protection products or fun-in-the-sun toys are very much appreciated.
Does anyone know of a good brand of sun hat that stays on well or ties under the chin (since my baby has a penchant for throwing hats overboard)?
Thanks for your feedback and ideas.
& Jack, age 1
04-24-2002, 11:15 AM
Thanks for using our message boards.
Just had to put in our 2¢ on this one. We have a close friend who has three fair skinned, red headed children. When she visited Florida at Spring Break, she slathered her kids with Water Babies 45 SPF. Those kids burned so bad, her middle child had blisters and none of them could go out in the sun for the rest of the vacation.
On the other hand she (and I who also have fair skin) have used a product called Durascreen that is recommended by dermatologists and have NEVER been burned. We use the SPF 30 and it works all day even if you go swimming. My friend says she will never use anything but the Durascreen again. You can find it online or in independent pharmacies.
Hope that helps,
author, BABY BARGAINS
04-24-2002, 01:06 PM
Since your baby is over 6 months, you can use any brand of sunscreen. I am very fond of the Neutragena brand sunscreen. They make it in 45, 30 and 17. I like it because it isn't "sticky", but more like a lotion. It is great for the beach and very effective. I am very fair (burn in 10 minutes) and I have used it many times in the Caribbean (Jamaica, Bonaire, Turks&Caicos) and also very near the equator (Kenya & Tanzania) and I have never burned. With any sunscreen, regardless of what it says, you should apply it thickly and reapply it frequently (every couple hours), especially on a child.
Target has some really nice sunhats for babies. They have velcro under the chin and stay on really well. Your baby might be a little too big for them, but they fit my 8 month old, so depending on your baby's "hat size" they may or may not fit. They are about $3.99 as I recall. I tried another brand from BRU that was more expensive but had ties under the chin instead of velcro and it didn't stay on nearly as well.
04-25-2002, 08:52 AM
I'd also recommend bringing a large beach umbrella, or even better, one of those pop-up "tents," so that Jack can play in the sand to his heart's content without being in direct sunlight. Of course, this is in addition to using lots of sunscreen, not instead.
Have a fun trip!
Mommy to Adam 6/98
Jeremy(?) expected 7/02
I'm a pharmacist who specializes in Dermatology. First off--- forget the brands of sunscreens/blocks, and look for the ingredients. In other words, it doesn't have to say, "FOR KIDS". The main ingredient (usually listed first) you want is TITANIUM DIOXIDE or ZINC OXIDE. Yes, those are the really pasty type things, but they are "physical" sunblocks (i.e they do NOT penetrate deep into the skin like the other ingredients --chemical ones). Obviously, people buy the chemical ones b/c they're easier to spread. But you want to protect the baby's skin from sun AND any kind of allergic reaction (which is MUCH more common with chemicals). I believe the higher the SPF the better. There's about 95% protection from an SPF 15, but if you go up to SPF 30, you get 97%. It's an incremental increase, but I think it's worth it....esp for kids!
I noticed the Fields quoted Durascreen. It's a good product .....also , it's Titanium, as I mentioned.
2nd, there is a company called Solumbra. www.solumbra.com They don't have baby stuff per se, but sell kids sized clothing that has SPF imbeded in it. (also for adults) Might be worth a look.
Umbrellas, etc. are great, but if you're outside, on the beach, with an umbrella over his head, it'll do little good as the sun reflects very fiercely off the waters anyway.
Hope that helps!
04-25-2002, 11:52 AM
I am also looking into the wet suits....Have you heard anything since you posted your note?
I welcome any feedback.
04-25-2002, 01:12 PM
Where can I get Durascreen. I just looked for it at CVS and they did not have it.
04-26-2002, 01:10 PM
Nope, still no feedback about the wetsuit. If anyone has used one of these, could you please post about your experience?
Thanks to all who advised re: sunblock. I definitely feel more educated now. We'll check out the better, barrier-type brands.
& Jack, 4/20/01 ("Mommy, what IS all this stuff you're covering me with?")
04-26-2002, 01:31 PM
I saw baby size - kids size wetsuits in either LL Bean or Land's End kid's catalog. Surf the websites and I'm sure you'll figure out which one it was (my pg brain can't remember).
I think it may be a little warm for them in SC, but if you want, give it a try.
Another thing to do is to put a thin tshirt on the baby when you are out around the water/in the water. Not the most attractive thing, but it will keep sensitive belly, back, shoulder, and chest skin out of the sun (in addition to sunscreen and a hat).
Have fun in the water!
04-27-2002, 11:49 AM
After I read this posting, I ordered some Durascreen from a pharmacy. I don't get the impression it is carried in the chain store pharmacies, though. We have at least 3 independent pharmacies in my small town, and all 3 said they could order it for me and have it the next day. So, I ordered one of the spf 30 and got it the following day! It is a 3.5 oz bottle and was around $8.00. A little pricey, but worth it to protect my fair 8 month old son! Hope that helps!
05-01-2002, 08:40 AM
Where did you order it from? Or who makes is so I can order it directly from the manufacturer.
05-02-2002, 03:46 PM
I ordered my Durascreen from a family-owned pharmacy here in my town, and picked it up from them the following day. You could check in your Yellow Pages under pharmacies and see if any of the small ones could get it for you! Or, it is made by Pierre Fabre Inc. and it says for information in the USA call 1-800-713-9026. I just remembered that Wal-Mart pharmacy offered to order something special for me once, so you might even check with them or CVS. Sometimes they are willing to do special order items, too! Good luck!
05-06-2002, 01:25 AM
GO TO WWW.SUNPRECAUTIONS.COM !!!!!
This is the web site to order clothing made from Solumbra (the doctor mentioned it in passing) Solumbra is 30 spf clothing, they sell toddler clothing from 12 mo - 24 mo size and kids clothing in 2,4,6,8,10,12. I bought the toddler pants, kids (2t) shirt, and the kid's legionnaire hat for my son last summer (18 months at the time). I put him in that outfit, used Durascreen sunscreen (which they also sell) on his feet and face, every time we went to the beach last summer. He NEVER burned! The fabric is very lightweight and cool, so he WAS NOT HOT. I'm buying him a new shirt this year, since the pants and hat seem to still fit him. Also, the hat has the longest neck drape I've seen on kids hats. People are always commenting on what a great hat it is. It has chin straps that you tie. My mother-in-law also swears by their clothing. LOVE IT!!!!
03-28-2004, 10:46 PM
Did you only wear this at the beach? What about in the water?
03-28-2004, 11:26 PM
I also did some research on sunblocks and found the same result - Titanium Dioxide is great for sensitive skin because it is a physical sunblock, not a chemical sunblock.
The Neutrogena sunscreen (mentioned above) uses Titanium Dioxide as its active ingredient. I am a fair-skinned redhead and have had very good success with all of their sunblocks. I bought their "Sensitive Skin" sunblock to use on DD - it isn't waterproof but it is fragrance free. Their waterproof sunblock does have fragrance and smells great - I've used it at the beach several times and have never gotten burned!
03-28-2004, 11:34 PM
My MIL lives in Miami and all of her friends with grandchildren buy this line of clothing. DD seems to have gotten my complexion and is very, very fair with light reddish-brown hair and blue eyes. They say it even works great in the heat of South Florida because it is lightweight. They use it when their kids are outside, even swimming. MIL is getting some pieces for DD for our visit next month - I can let you know!
03-28-2004, 11:40 PM
bummer..........just did a search for durascreen...sounded great for my kids.........but it contains shea butter which Im allergic to.
May have to look into the neutrogena one instead
03-29-2004, 06:34 AM
This is great advice you've gotten. I don't have anything to add except that I grew up on Hilton Head (yes, a real native!). Have a blast!! I miss it,
i c e m a mm a
We used the following SPF one piece at the beach last year when my DD was 9 mos. old and it worked beautifully. It dries quickly so it's totally appropriate for swimming.
03-29-2004, 01:49 PM
The campmor catalog was recently selling some kind of sun blocking full body suit (it might have been some kind of mesh??not a wetsuit) in sizes that were 6, 12 or 18 months for around $25 if I'm remembering correctly. Might be worth checking out. My ds will only be 4 months by june, and I know sunscreen isn't recommended until they hit 6 months so it caught my attention. Obviously we'll try and limit exposure but I thought something like this might be helpful for us...
03-29-2004, 02:09 PM
You've gotten great feedback on sunscreens and the swimsuits. I just wanted to offer one word of caution about sunscreens that hasn't been mentioned: make sure you get one that is non-stinging to the eyes! We have had several bad experiences with sunscreen running (when they sweat or get wet) and getting into my kids eyes and really burning. The ones that are formulated for babies do not do this.
We purchased a sun-tent last year for our trip to the beach and we really like it. It gave a shady place to sit when you needed a break and was great for the baby. Although it certainly didn't provide total sun protection, it was nice to have. We also got a great cart with big wheels to carry everything down to the beach and it was fantastic! Wish I'd gotten one a long time ago. :)
As for toys, my kids love a small shovel and pail. Also, stacking cups are great. Beach balls are fun, especially if you can find a smaller one that he'll be able to hold better. We also bought some sand molds (Target has tons of this stuff!) and my younger son has adored them.
ETA: Forgot about the hat! I've been using one on Amy Grace that I got last year at WalMart. It fits great, has a wide brim, and a velcro strap. Another great hat is the sunhat from Hanna Andersson. It ties under the chin.
03-29-2004, 02:58 PM
I have a the sun hat from One Step Ahead, which does not have a chin strap, and we LOVE it. Also gave one recently as a gift to ILs in AZ who just had their first and raved about DS's hat. However, he does not (yet) have an interest in pulling hats off his head, so we haven't needed a chin strap.
03-30-2004, 09:27 AM
denise, where did you get your sun-tent and cart?
Mom to Lauren Genevieve
03-30-2004, 09:29 AM
i'm asking because i'm sure there will be little ones who do get burnt...and it would be a good idea to have something on hand to treat. i know i got VERY burnt (with blisters and all) as a kid. i used solarcaine when i was a bit older.
Also, are there good products to use after the sun? like an aloe gel or something?
And is it important to always wash the sunscreen off afterwards? like if i put it on my daughter's arms just to go for a walk in the stroller but we don't have a bath every night (usually every 2nd night) should i then wash the sunscreen off?
Mom to Lauren Genevieve
03-30-2004, 01:03 PM
I ordered the coverall from www.Campmor.com
with shipping it came to 28.94
very good price, I think.
Here's the product page:
03-30-2004, 01:12 PM
Did you look at the ingredients on the stick? It was different than the lotion. I didn't see shea butter there.
03-30-2004, 01:13 PM
Agreed with Denise on watching out about the stinging eyes thing. But I strongly caution against Water Babies. Although it is supposed to be made for babies, my eyes have never stung as badly as they have with this sunblock. Honestly, it was a half hour of pure hell when I went into the pool once without giving it enough time to dry. (I think they want you to wait 30 minutes or so.) I will never buy that one for DS.
03-30-2004, 02:11 PM
Just wanted to add that regardless of sunblock or sun protective clothing, it's a good idea to avoid direct sun between the hours of 10:00-3:00. When we went to Florida, we tried to do "activities" during those hours (zoo, museum, shaded playground), and left the pool/beach for early morning (too cold usually) or after 3pm. HTH.
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