Babies On Board Boats – Protect Your Little Ones while Boating

Babies love boats and boating. And it doesn’t take much for babies and young children to get blistering sunburns, especially on boats or in the water. So why are we so concerned? It is simple – boat rentals equal kids on the water! We see our fair share of babies coming through Cannons and we just wanted to offer some tips on how to protect your little one.

Did you know that childhood sunburn more than doubles their chance of developing melanoma later in life? Not to mention that excess sun exposure can lead to dehydration. There are several things that you can do to protect your little bundle of joy.
First of all, kids younger than six months need to be kept out of the sun, period. For you boaters, this is a good reason to hire a babysitter so you and your First Mate can have a break on the water. A baby’s brand new skin is just too sensitive for the sun and for sunscreen. They have very little melanin, the dark brown to black pigment that protects the skin by tanning when exposed to sunlight. Melanin is not only found in the skin. It’s in their hair and  the eye’s iris too. So in addition to damaging their skin, exposure to the sun can lead to future issues.
It’s simple really. Keep them out of the sun as much as possible. Take your boat rides early in the morning or late in the afternoon and keep them covered. Make sure their clothes are loose fitting and no skin is exposed. Get them a really natty hat that protects their ears, their neck and their face. Or for even more fun, get one for yourself and turn it into a dress up game. Don‘t forget their life vest.
If you’re child is older than six months, follow the above and slather their exposed skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF value of at least 15, 30 will be better. Make sure you use a brand that won’t sting their eyes. Apply at least 30-minutes before going outside and dermatologist suggest to reapply every two hours and after they swim.
When they’re a little older, teach them to keep to the shade when the sun is strongest, i.e. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and make sure there’s shade on board at all times. Cover them in unbleached cotton clothes; the fabric breathes, they’ll stay cooler and it’s good protection. Have them pick out a hat they love and will actually wear and spring for some Oakley’s so they’re eyes are protected and they look really cool too.
It’s really that not difficult to keep your little ones safe from the damaging rays of the sun and enjoy a day of family fun on the water.
Happy Boating.