All of us know the basics of sun safety for children: use sunscreen frequently, wear sun-protective clothing and stay out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. & 4 p.m. Sometimes, sunburns can happen, even though we do our best. This can cause redness, blistering, pain, and skin irritations such as peeling, redness, and even peeling. There are many ways that your child can feel better and avoid permanent damage.
You can cool down with a tepid bath or shower, but not too cold. Avoid using soaps, bath oils, or bubble baths, as they can dry the skin. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you gently pat your skin dry to avoid irritation. However, leaving some water on your skin is a good idea.
A cold compress can reduce heat, pain, and swelling. Apply the ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to reduce heat, pain, and swelling. Ice should never be placed directly on the skin as it can cause further damage. The cold compress can be used for approximately 10-15 minutes throughout the day.
To seal your skin’s moisture, apply the moisturizer throughout each day. Hydrocortisone creams may also be helpful if you have severe sunburns.
Aloe vera is an excellent remedy for sunburn. The gel found in this cactus plant soothes pain, speeds healing and moisturizes the skin. You can cut a leaf from the plant and apply it directly to your skin or purchase pure aloe vera gel from your local drugstore. Aloe vera gel can cause allergic reactions in some children, so it’s best not to use it. It is also possible to test it first on a small skin area.
Since ancient times, the sticky stuff has been used to treat burns. Kathi Kemper M.D. is the author of The Holistic Pediatrician. “Studies suggest that it may be better than some antibiotic creams in speeding up healing and reducing infection, as well as minimizing pain,” she says. Babies younger than 12 months should not use this remedy as they could be exposed to honey poisoning.
When mixed with warm water, finely ground oatmeal (also known as colloidal oatmeal) can be used as an anti-inflammatory. Blend one cup of instant oatmeal or slow-cooking oatmeal with a food processor or blender until you get a fine texture. Put the mixture in a warm bath and allow to soak.
Apply the astringent to a cotton gauze or washcloth for 20 minutes. To reduce itching and pain, apply the astringent three to four times per day or as often as necessary. Witch hazel’s soothing properties can be attributed to anti-inflammatory tannins.
Experts recommend cold-pressed organic coconut oil for reducing dryness and irritation. Coconut oil should be applied only after your skin has cooled and blistered. The thick substance can trap heat, which can worsen the symptoms. After your skin has cooled down, which can take several days, apply coconut oil liberally as a natural remedy for sunburns.
Baking Soda and Cornstarch
Itching and inflammation can be relieved by soaking in warm water containing baking soda or cornstarch. Alternately you can make a paste of these ingredients and apply it to sunburned areas.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), sunburns can cause fluid to be drawn to the skin’s surface and away from other body parts. To avoid dehydration, it is essential to drink plenty of fluids. Also, serve fruits and vegetables with high water contents–watermelon, grapefruit, cucumbers, etc.
Sunburn: When should you call the doctor?
Sunburns should disappear within three to five days. Children should follow the steps mentioned above and wear loose-fitting clothes. Avoid popping blisters as this can cause infection. Keep them out of direct sunlight until their sunburns have subsided. Parents often prefer natural remedies for sunburns, but you may want to give your children ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and pain, provided they are over six months.
Contact your paediatrician immediately if your child is younger than one year old, has blisters, severe pain, or has a fever greater than 101 degrees.