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A baby’s skin has got to be the most velvety soft substance on earth. That delicate skin makes babies and toddlers more vulnerable to sun damage, and to the chemicals in sunscreens intended to protect them.
But parents looking for advice on how best to shield very young children from the sun can have a hard time coming up with solid recommendations. There’s a good reason for that; almost all studies on sun exposure and sunscreen are done in adults. And baby skin is very different from grown-up skin, according to a roundup of the latest info in the journal Pediatrics.
For one thing, the outer later of baby skin is a lot thinner, and it absorbs more water than adult skin. Infant and toddler skin also has less of the brown pigment melanin, which helps protect the skin from ultraviolet light. As children become older, their skin becomes thicker and more pigmented, granting them more sun protection.
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