Most families love to spend time at the beach. However, everyone needs protection against harmful UV rays and avoid dehydration. Babies, in particular, are susceptible to heat-related illnesses like mild heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
Pediatricians, therefore, advise parents to keep their babies hydrated. Moreover, babies need regular sunscreen application, a fresh change of clothes, and a baby sun hat to protect them from the heat. Although there are many attractive sun hats available, there are essential features to look for in a baby sun hat.
Choose Hats with UPF 50+
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, fabrics with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 30 to 49 provide adequate protection against harmful ultraviolet rays. For babies, however, a higher UPF of 50+ is preferable because a baby’s thin skin does not have sufficient melanin to shield them from sun damage.
Pediatricians believe sun exposure in the earlier years increases the risk of acquiring melanoma, a form of skin cancer. Therefore, use a baby sun hat with UPF 50+ to cover your baby’s head, especially when exposed to the sun. Be vigilant in checking for the UPF certification trademark to make sure that the sun hat has achieved the quality standards of ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency).
Look for Sun Hats with Breathable Materials and Light Colors
A baby sun hat made of materials like polyester, cotton, or cotton blend is the right choice. Aside from being lightweight and foldable, your baby will stay dry.
Avoid sun hats in darker hues of black, brown, and grey. These colors attract heat, which could cause your baby to be fussy. Good choices are light and pastel colors like white, pink, light green, aqua, and baby blue. There are also hats in attractive, patterned designs.
Choose Hats that Cover Sensitive Skin
The skin of babies is very susceptible, making them prone to eczema, diaper rashes, and sunburn. Pediatricians recommend parents to keep babies away from direct sunlight. However, if exposure is unavoidable, sunscreen needs to be applied. Plus, babies should wear heat-repelling shirts and pants.
An excellent way to protect a baby’s ears and neck is the legionnaire hat. This baby sun hat has flaps that cover your baby’s nape and ears, effecting shielding ultraviolet rays. An alternative is the bucket hat with a wide brim all around your baby’s head.
For trips to the beach, your baby will need chlorine-resistant swim hats. Choose the quick-drying hats that will not leave marks on your baby’s head.
Aim for perfect fit and flexibility
The best baby sun hat should fit your baby perfectly. If the brim covers the baby’s eyes, they will attempt to remove the cap. If you are unsure, measure your baby’s head and check a baby hat guide.
Choose a baby sun hat that is stretchable. As the baby grows, the same sun hat is still useable.
You will never go wrong if you shop for a baby sun hat based on these four qualities. Protecting your baby’s skin now will avoid the occurrence of heat-related skin diseases.