Sunburn and children, facts and best advice

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Sunburn is caused by overexposure to UV light from the sun. Any skin, no matter how dark, can suffer from it. Sunburn happens when children spend too much time in the sun and fail to use protection such as hats, clothing and sun block.

How to treat sunburn

If your child has accidently been sun burned you should bear in mind that any treatment should begin as soon as possible for maximum affect.

The first thing you should do is get out of the sun. If you can’t get indoors you should cover your children with clothing and use sun block and seek shelter as soon as possible. Once indoors, these dermatologists’ tips can help relieve the discomfort:

  • Use cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain.After the shower or bath, make sure you dry your child as gently as you can. Vigorous rubbing with a towel could further damage the skin. Pat them dry, and leave a little water on the skin. Apply a moisturizer to help trap the water in your skin.
  • Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin.On very badly burned skin areas, you may want to apply a hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription.
  • Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.
  • Drink plenty of water.Sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.
  • Allow the blisters to heal.Blistering skin means you have second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection.
  • Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. Tightly-woven fabrics work best.


Sunburn complications and risks

Although it may seem like a temporary condition, sunburn can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. In extreme cases this may become serious. Sun damage increases a person’s risk of skin cancers.

This makes sun protection critical.

For more questions or advice about your children and sunburn, see a doctor or get referred to a dermatologist.




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