- With Mayo Clinic emeritus consultant
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.read biographyclose window
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.Jay Hoecker, M.D.
Dr. Jay Hoecker, an emeritus member of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, brings valuable expertise to health information content on primary care pediatrics. He has a particular interest in infectious diseases of children.
He's a Fort Worth, Texas, native, certified as a pediatrician by the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was trained at Washington University's St. Louis Children's Hospital, and in infectious diseases at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1989.
"The World Wide Web is revolutionizing the availability and distribution of information, including health information about children and families," Dr. Hoecker says. "The evolution of the Web has included greater safety, privacy and accuracy over time, making the quality and access to children's health information immediate, practical and useful. I am happy to be a part of this service to patients from a trusted name in medicine, to use and foster all the good the Web has to offer children and their families."
Infant and toddler health (7)
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Newborn health (9)
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Toddler health (5)
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Baby sunscreen: What's recommended?
Is it OK for a baby to wear sunscreen?
from Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.
Baby sunscreen recommendations differ for infants younger and older than 6 months. Consider these general guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Cancer Society:
- For babies younger than 6 months. If your baby is younger than 6 months, keep him or her out of direct sunlight. Protect your baby from sun exposure by dressing him or her in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses. If adequate clothing and shade aren't available, apply sunscreen only on small areas of your baby's exposed skin, such as the face and back of the hands.
- For babies 6 months or older. If your baby is 6 months or older, liberally use sunscreen. In addition, avoid exposing your baby to the sun during peak hours — generally 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — and dress your baby in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses.
When choosing baby sunscreen, pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. To avoid irritating your baby's skin and eyes, use a sunscreen that contains only inorganic filters, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Avoid using products that combine sunscreen and the insect repellent DEET, since sunscreen must be regularly reapplied and insect repellent typically doesn't need to be reapplied. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if your baby is spending time in the water or perspiring.
Remember, just a few serious sunburns can increase your baby's risk of skin cancer later in life. Taking simple steps now can go a long way toward protecting your baby from the risks of sun exposure.Next question
Baby sling: Is it safe?
- Sunscreen labeling according to the 2011 final rule. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM258718.pdf. Accessed June 15, 2011.
- Paller AS, et al. New insights about infant and toddler skin: Implications for sun protection. Pediatrics. 2011;128:92.
- Balk SJ, et al. Ultraviolet radiation: A hazard to children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2011;127:e791.
- Sun safety: Save your skin! U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm049090.htm. Accessed June 30, 2011.
- Facts about sunscreens. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens. Accessed June 30, 2011.
- Skin cancer prevention and early detection. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003184-pdf.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2011.
- Questions and answers: FDA announces new requirements for over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreen products marketed in the U.S. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the-CounterMedicines/ucm258468.htm. Accessed July 1, 2011.
- Protecting children from the sun. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/children.htm. Accessed July 1, 2011.
- Shelov SP, et al. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books; 2009:833.
- Children's skin care. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/childrens-skin-care. Accessed July 1, 2011.