How to Treat Children's Sunburns

How to Treat Children's Sunburns thumbnail
Treat Children's Sunburns

It is never fun to have a sunburn, especially when you are a kid. Many of us employ protective measures to avoid sunburns, but it's not always possible to prevent it completely, in which case you will need to know how to treat children's sunburns. Read on to learn how to treat children's sunburns.

Things You'll Need

  • Pain reliever (optional)
  • Cool water and cloths
  • Moisturizing lotion
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Instructions

    • 1

      Remove your child from the sun at the first sign of over-exposure. Cover his skin with loose-fitting layers of cotton clothing if you are unable to find shade, or when he must return to the sun.

    • 2

      Run a cool bath for your child to ease the pain and draw some heat out of the skin. While a shower may be the most practical solution, the spray of the water can be painful on the raw, tight skin of a sunburn. Soaking in a cool bath with colloidal oatmeal or baking soda added to it can be very soothing.

    • 3

      Apply wet cloths or wrap your child in a wet towel, sheet or shirt, if you don't have ready access to a bathtub. When you are at the beach it may be hard to find a tub, but water and towels are in abundance.

    • 4

      Keep children hydrated. A sunburn is often accompanied by nausea and a headache, both of which are caused by the dehydrating nature of a sunburn. Make sure that children are drinking enough fluids or indulging in ice pops to replace fluids. Providing a cool and quiet place to rest can also help alleviate headaches and queasiness.

    • 5

      Put calamine lotion or talcum powder on the affected area to help absorb some of the heat.

    • 6

      Use a lotion or moisturizer that contains aloe vera after the sunburn cools down a little. The lotion will not only soften the sunburned skin, but aloe is also a natural healing product that reduces swelling and pain. For extremely painful sunburns, purchase and use a lotion that also contains a topical anesthetic.

    • 7

      Give your child a children's over-the-counter pain reliever, using the dosing instructions on the package, to help with the worst of the pain.

    • 8

      Cover small blisters only if they will be compressed or rubbed by the child's clothing. Use a loose gauze bandage but don't apply ointment or cream underneath.

    • 9

      Report your child's sunburn at his next visit with the pediatrician. Even if it wasn't severe enough to treat, it's important that the doctor has a record of sun exposure significant enough to cause cell damage. It will give the pediatrician a head's up to keep an eye out for any new and unusual skin lesions.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult a physician if your child's sunburn is a deep red or has blisters larger than the size of a dime. This may indicate a second-degree burn that needs further care than can be provided at home. Likewise, seek medical help if your child is dizzy or disoriented, as she may be suffering from sun poisoning in addition to a bad sunburn.

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