Family outings might just be the best part of summer \u2014 you\u2019re probably busy planning trips to an amusement park or the beach.\nAnd while even the littlest travelers should be protected from the sun, you may be surprised to learn that when it comes to sunscreen for babies, you should wait to apply it until they reach 6 months of age. So, how can you protect your newborn baby without sunscreen?\nFor more, visit the Children\u2019s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC website.\n\nHow to Protect Newborns from the Sun\nSunscreen is a must for older children and adults of all ages. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, recommends holding off on sunscreen for your baby until they are 6 months old.\nNewborn skin is still maturing and may absorb more sunscreen chemicals than is healthy. Instead, avoid sun exposure by keeping your baby in the shade and dressed in protective clothing.\nRobin Gehris, MD, of Children\u2019s Dermatology & Acne Treatment Center, said parents who are concerned that clothing and shade aren\u2019t providing enough protection can apply a small amount of sunscreen on exposed areas of their baby\u2019s skin. Parents should only use sunscreens that are \u201cphysical blockers,\u201d which contain only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the primary ingredients.\nHere are some other sun protection tips for babies:\n\nDress your baby in lightweight, long-sleeved outfits with pants to shield them from the sun\u2019s harmful rays. Complete the outfit with a hat that shades the full head, ears, and back of the neck.\nWith that in mind, make sure your baby is kept cool. It\u2019s easy for babies to overheat \u2014 they aren\u2019t able to cool themselves by sweating, after all. Provide them with plenty of formula or breast milk, and take them inside if they seem dehydrated, fussy, or if you notice a reddening of the skin.\nKeep a careful eye on your baby at all times. Even in the shade, sun can reflect off metal strollers and other surfaces.\n\nLearn more about breastfeeding your baby during the summer.\nSunscreen for Older Babies and Toddlers\nUse sunscreen liberally when your child is old enough.\n\nMake sure to cover any exposed skin with sunscreen \u2014 don\u2019t forget to cover ears and scalp.\nApply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure. Remember to reapply every two hours or more often if you are swimming.\nUse a sunscreen that is at least SPF 15. Keep in mind that higher SPFs provide more protection.\nSunscreen for babies comes in many formulations including gels, creams, and wipes. Don\u2019t use sunscreen sprays, as these can be ingested.\nTry to use a \u201cbroad spectrum\u201d sunscreen. These block both UVA (rays that age the skin) and UVB (rays that burn the skin).\nAvoid sunscreen with fragrances, as well as sunscreens that contain avobenzone or oxybenzone, which are chemical blockers.\n\nCheck out our infographic to learn more about Sunscreen 101.\nOlder babies and children should also wear protective clothing in the sun. Clothing that has a tight weave (not sheer) provides the best protection from the sun\u2019s harmful rays. A hat and sunglasses are also recommended if your baby can tolerate them. This provides coverage for the head, face, ears, and eyes.\nFor all ages, try to time your outings to avoid being in the direct sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun\u2019s rays are most intense.\nBabies and UV Rays\nSkin cancer (melanoma)\u00a0is the most common cancer in the United States. And this makes sun protection for babies and toddlers critical \u2014 it can help prevent long-term skin damage and serious illness.