'Tis the Sea-Sun for Sunburns: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Child

With warm weather finally here, everyone wants to play outside in the sun making it more important than ever to protect your child’s delicate skin. Sunburn can occur in children and adults in as little as 15 minutes, and repeated sunburns can cause permanent skin damage and/or skin cancer. 

Before your kids spend the day outside, protect them with these preventive tips:

  • Apply UVA and UVB protective sunscreen. We recommend SPF 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes before jumping in the water and reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

  • Wear protective clothing, sunglasses and a hat. Many swimwear outfitters make UVB and UVA protective clothing and hats. 

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. While it won’t prevent a sunburn, water evaporates more quickly through skin exposed to the sun, so it is important to drink lots of water. 

    sports injuries, sunburn

Signs of sunburn and how to treat it

Even if you are religious about applying sunscreen and wearing protective clothing, sunburns can still happen. You might not notice the harmful effects until a few hours later when the typical symptoms of redness, warmth, itchiness and swelling start to appear. Unfortunately, this delay in apparent symptoms can be particularly harmful to children who want to spend all day in the sun. 

Keep an eye out, and if your child develops a visible sunburn, it is important to get them out of the sun immediately. Then follow these steps:

  • Give your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These medications help with the pain and swelling that normally accompany a sunburn. 

  • Apply a cool compress or have your child take a cool bath. This takes the heat out of the skin to help the sunburn heal faster. 

  • Use aloe. Aloe can provide sunburn comfort. 

  • Continue to hydrate. Dehydration is very common after a sunburn. Drinking lots of water to replenish can help the healing process. 

If your child suffers from a particularly bad sunburn this summer, keep in mind that your local urgent care center can help treat them. For the best in local medical clinics, rely on Immediate Clinic for sunburn care and treatment of other minor illnesses and conditions, including sprains, strains and sports injuries.

Learn more about other medical concerns Immediate Clinic can treat.