Summer Tips: Sunscreen and Water Safety

Please Note: These guidelines are only for children who are fully vaccinated with no chronic medical illnesses. 

These guidelines provide general guidance and should not be used as a substitute for the individual advice provided over the phone or at an appointment. If you have any significant or ongoing concerns, please call the office.  Please contact Hirsch Pediatrics or go to the ER if your child is under 2 months old and has a fever (rectal temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit or 38 Celsius).

These guidelines are written for patients of Hirsch Pediatrics and may not be copied or used without the written permission of Dr. Hirsch.

Can I use sunscreen on my baby?  

  • Yes! We recommend using sunscreen on babies aged 6 months and older.

What sunscreens do you recommend? 

  • Sunscreens are divided into two main categories: mineral sunscreens and chemical sunscreens.  Mineral sunscreens are made of zinc or titanium components and will rub on thick with a whitish coating that stays on the surface of the skin as a barrier to the sun. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin and then absorb the sun rays.
  • Though any sunscreen is better than none, typically mineral sunscreens are preferred over chemical sunscreens. Hirsch Pediatrics recommends using the annual Environmental Working Group (EWG) sunscreen guide ( to choose the safest sunscreen for your child that minimizes unnecessary chemical exposure and has appropriate UVA/UVB protection.
  • Reapply sunscreen frequently especially if your child is sweating or going in the water.

How else can I protect my child from the sun and heat? 

  • Follow the UV index on your phone weather app. UV indexes 0-5 have much less sun exposure than 6-10. You may want to avoid any sun exposure and stay indoors for young infants when the UV index is especially high at 8-10. Since the UV index is highest at midday, going outdoors in the early morning or late afternoon can minimize sun exposure (especially at the beach).
  • Since babies can not sweat to cool down, we recommend keeping babies indoors when the heat and humidity cause the parent to sweat when you are outside not exerting yourself. Also using a portable fan on your baby to keep them cool is important when you must be outside in very hot or humid weather.

Can my baby go in the pool and ocean?

  • Yes! You can bring your baby into a swimming pool or ocean if the water temperature is comfortable which means you do not feel cold when going in. When you are done you can give your baby a quick water rinse in the tub or shower.
  • All young children must have a designated adult who always keeps eyes on the child(ren) in the water. Even young children that have learned basic swimming skills can be at risk if they panic and forget basic floating skills. At a private swimming pool (especially during a pool party) adults should take turns being the designated pool monitor.
  • While inflatable arm floaties can help your child stay above water they will not prevent all drownings and are not a substitute for an adult staying within arm’s reach of the child at all times.