Treating Your Child’s Sunburn Immediately

The main reason children easily get sunburned is that parents sometimes cannot tell that they are actually burning until it’s too late. Symptoms like redness, pain and swelling have a delayed start, about four hours after being in the sun. These symptoms will peak after about 24 hours and will begin to subside after 48 hours – but that can be an uncomfortable 48 hours for children. The good news is that sunburn can be treated at home. However, if your child has severe blistering, pain, weakness and a fever after being sunburned, consult your child’s pediatrician or seek immediate medical help.
If your child’s sunburn is mild enough, you can use these steps to provide immediate treatment and relief:
1. Get them out of the sun – Take them to a shaded area or better yet, take them inside your house where it’s not in direct sunlight and has air-conditioning. Keeping your child longer in the sun can cause a risk of heat exhaustion or even result in a heat stroke.
2. Ready a cool bath – This can soothe the burned skin. Do not apply any soap as it can sting and dry up the sunburned areas. An alternative is a cooled tamp towel placed on areas of your child’s body that are most affected.
3. Have them take some inflammatory medicine – Ibuprofen can help reduce the redness and swelling. This must be done as soon as possible and as regularly as possible until the redness subsides.
4. Give them lots of water – Sunburn can easily cause dehydration in children. Extra fluids for the next couple of days should also be on your mind. Burned skin cannot retain water as well as healthy skin, so it’s important to be drinking water until the sunburn is completely treated.
5. Use aloe vera on the affected areas – Either in gel form found in pharmacies, or even straight from the plant itself, aloe vera can help soothe the pain associated with the burned skin. Avoid lotions that contain substances like benzocaine, lidocaine and even petroleum. Hydrocortisone is another cream that can be used to reduce the swelling of the skin.
Remember that if your child’s skin has blistered after a sunburn, it can be very prone to becoming infected and would need professional medical help. Call your doctor if you notice blisters on your child’s sunburn as it can be more than just a mild burn.