Sunburn spares no one. Every person, from infants to the elderly, is at risk of sustaining sun damage and burns every time there is sun exposure. However, those individuals with the most sensitive skin, such as children are typically at higher risk than adults.
Learn about the most effective sunburn prevention and treatment strategies for children in this post.
In addition to age, individuals are born with different skin types. Some skin types are more sensitive and vulnerable to sun damage than others.
In particular, individuals with lighter skin tones tend to burn both more quickly and more deeply than their peers with darker skin tones. By understanding who is at greatest risk for sunburn and skin damage, parents can keep the risk of sunburn to a minimum using prevention techniques.
Prevention is the preferred method of ensuring sun safety. There are several proven techniques to prevent sunburn, sun damage, and the common long-term result of each, skin cancer.
Here are some of the best sunburn prevention tools for children.
– Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily, when the sun’s rays are at their peak strength.
– Cover up – including the head and feet – when going out in the sun.
– Use a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor).
– If in water, reapply sunscreen of any strength at least every 60 minutes.
– Keep infants ages 6 months or less out of the sun entirely – their skin is so sensitive it can burn in minutes.
– Remember that visual clues may not show up for six to 12 hours after the sunburn or sun damage has occurred, so visual clues cannot predict the onset of sunburn.
Should a child sustain sunburn, here are the best immediate treatments to provide relief.
– Offer acetaminophen at an age-appropriate dose to ease pain and swelling.
– Apply cool compresses or bathe the child in cool water with a soft washcloth.
– Smooth on natural aloe vera gel to ease pain and swelling.
– Seek medical care if burn or symptoms appear severe.
By understanding proper prevention and treatment of sunburn, it becomes possible to predict when sunburn is most likely to occur and take steps to prevent it from happening.