Even though I use sunscreen on my children, they still sometimes get sunburned. What should I do?
The best treatment for a sun burn is prevention. As much as possible, stay in the shade and avoid sun exposure during peak sun hours. Keep your children covered up with light clothing when you can. Clothing with built in SPF protection is now available everywhere. There is also a product called Sun Guard that add to the wash to give clothing sun protection. I used it before camp this summer for my boys t-shirts. Hats and sunglasses are very important too! Let your kids pick out a favorite hat and cool sunglasses so they’re more likely to keep them on.
Nowadays sunscreen should be part of your morning routine. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to going outside (even on cloudy days) and reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating. Keep infants under 6 months of age out of direct sunlight, but you can use a baby sunscreen product when needed on exposed areas. Consider an SPF sunshade to attach to your stroller to help protect your little one.
If your child does get a sun burn, get them out of the sun right away and apply a cool compress to the affected area. Aloe Vera gel may help soothe the burn and over the counter pain medication (eg. Tylenol, Motrin) as directed can help decrease pain and inflammation. Make sure your child stays hydrated by drinking plenty of water for the next few days. Keep the affected area covered to avoid future sun exposure.
Call your pediatrician if the burn covers a large area of your child’s body, she is in extreme discomfort or blisters appear. In addition, if there is any swelling, oozing, she gets fever, chills, signs of dehydration (increased thirst, dry mouth or eyes), confusion, headache or feels faint seek medical attention.