When it comes to sunscreen, we have to remember that infant skin is different than adult skin. Infant skin is much thinner – it protects the body less effectively against outside agents, including chemicals in sunscreen. This is why we see these reports of severe, blistering burns or rashes in very young children when parents use the same sunscreen product on their older children and themselves without issue.
If you have a child under 6 months old, the US Food and Drug Administration and The Skin Cancer Foundation recommend keeping your child in the shade rather than using sunscreen, even physical blockers like zinc oxide. For children over 6 months, I recommend a patch test to make sure that your child is not particularly sensitive, or even allergic, to the ingredients in a particular sunscreen product. This could mean the difference between a sun safe child and a trip to the hospital with blistering, swollen skin.