Are you wondering how to treat and prevent sunburn in children?

To treat and prevent sunburn in children, The first thing is to apply a cold compress to the burned areas using a towel or paper towels

how to treat and prevent sunburn in children

This article will learn what to do when your child gets a sunburn, best practices to prevent it, and how to choose a safe and effective sunscreen. Most of the sun damage to the skin occurs in childhood, and hence it is very important to have a good routine to protect your child from sunburns.

It is often believed that sunburn can occur only when the sun is shining brightly. But ultraviolet rays cause sunburn on cloudy days just like on sunny days.

What are the best things to do if your child gets a sunburn?

Usually within 6 to 12 hours after exposure, the skin will become red, hot, and painful with a sunburn. In severe cases the skin may blister and the child may feel fever, chills, headache and tiredness. If your child shows signs of having a severe sunburn, they should be seen by a healthcare provider.

The first thing that helps in treating a sunburn is to apply a cold compress to the burned areas using a towel or paper towels dipped in cold water. Or you can give your baby a cold water bath instead. When drying the skin, be sure to pat the affected area rather than rubbing it.

Make sure the skin is moisturized:

Next we want to bring some moisture back to the burned skin, and help it heal by applying a topical moisturizer. Aloe vera plant is a great natural alternative. If you have an aloe vera plant at home, you can cut off a portion of its leaf to use. Some stores also sell individual aloe plantleaves. After cutting a piece from the leaf, halve that portion. Then apply aloe sap to the skin and let it dry before dressing your baby.

Another option is to buy aloe vera oil. Keeping the aloe vera leaf or oil in the refrigerator to cool before applying will have the added benefit of reducing the stinging and itching associated with sunburns. There are also after sun products containing aloe that you can find. And this will help too.However, if you want to avoid putting extra chemicals on your baby's skin, use the leaf or oil of the aloe vera plant. It is best to continue to moisturize the skin every day until the sunburn is gone.

Try to avoid excessive sunlight:

In some cases the skin will peel. Keep moisturizing even in this situation. Also, try to avoid excessive sun exposure until the skin heals and the peeling stops. If blisters develop on the burned skin, do not break them as breaking the skin will actually increase the risk of your baby getting a dermatological infection. If any blisters burst, wash them with gentle soap and water, and apply antibiotic ointment to the area.

Keep a close eye on that area of ​​skin for signs of infection. If the skin becomes red, hot, swollen, painful, or if pus is oozing out from under the skin, your child should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. Sunburns can be very painful for some children and it is okay for you to give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve the pain if needed. Also, when your child is recovering from a sunburn, make sure to keep him well hydrated with water.

Let us now talk about the things that you can do to avoid sunburn.-

In general, the time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. is when ultraviolet rays are strongest. So it's best to limit being outside during that time of day. For babies under 6 months old, because their skin is thinner and more sensitive, they are advised to avoid using sunscreen.

Follow the following measures for sun protection:

Place your baby in a shaded area, and if you can't find shade, make your own using an umbrella, stroller parasol or the hood of a stroller. Also, dress your child in sun protection clothing that is light and loose fitting and covers the skin. Wearing a wide hat and sunglasses will also provide additional sun protection.

For babies 6 months and older, it is recommended to apply sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. And it's important to reapply at least every 2 hours. In situations where your child is swimming, sweating profusely or wiping the body with a towel, reapply sunscreen no later than 2 hours to provide protection against sunburn.

Let us now talk about the properties that make it the best and safest sunscreen to use on babies and toddlers.

There are lots of options out there. And it can be overwhelming to decide which one to go with. Since the skin of babies and young children is more delicate, there is a higher risk of irritation from the things applied to it. So I think what really matters is the type of sunscreen you use.

The number one thing I recommend paying attention to when choosing a sunscreen is that it's a mineral sunscreen, rather than a chemical sunscreen. When you look at the active ingredients on the bottle, see if it contains zinc oxide, titanium oxide, or both, and no additional active ingredients. A mineral sunscreen is safer and preferable to use because it does not absorb into the skin, rather it stays on top of the skin and acts as a protective barrier that deflects UV rays.

Be careful while taking sunscreen:

Chemical sunscreens are more prone to skin irritation, especially in infants and young children. This type of sunscreen is easy to rub into the skin without leaving a white residue. Active ingredients usually include oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate or octinoxate.

Unfortunately I've noticed that some brands, including the popular baby brand, make this a difficult task, where they state on the bottle that it is a mineral based sunscreen, but they still contain one or more ingredients with zinc as part of the active ingredients. Many incorporate chemical sunscreens. oxide, titanium oxide, or both. So even though it states that it is a mineral sunscreen, I recommend that you take a look at the active ingredients. Make sure it states only zinc oxide, titanium oxide, or both.

Lotion is better instead of spray:

Another feature to look for is that it is a broad spectrum sunscreen. It will provide protection from UV rays, which penetrate deep into the skin and UV rays that commonly cause sunburns. Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. And it is better to take sunscreen in the form of lotion rather than spray.

While spray on sunscreens take less time to apply, they are thinner in consistency and do not provide as good protection as lotions. There is also a tendency for the body to exfoliate when using the spray. Another concern is that if a child breathes in particles of sunscreen while spraying, it can cause lung irritation. If you only have a spray sunscreen available, it's best to spray it on your hands first and then rub it onto the baby's skin, rather than spraying it directly on babies.

Lotion sunscreens generally provide more protection because they are thicker, and we do a better job of applying them than spray sunscreens. So in short, the ideal properties of sunscreen to use on an infant and toddler are a mineral sunscreen that is broad spectrum, SPF 30 or higher, and in lotion form. 

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