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Protect Your Little One From the Hot Sun

By DuPage Medical Group Dermatology

As families begin to spend more time outdoors participating in soccer games, swim lessons, and trips to the water park, there is no doubt that sun protection should be a top priority for parents caring for themselves and their children in order to avoid sunburns.

Sunburn is the reddening of the skin caused by overexposure to the harmful sun rays. Sunburn can seem like a temporary irritation but sunburns can cause lasting damage to the skin. For instance, just one blistering childhood sunburn more than doubles the risk of developing melanoma later in life. Young skin heals faster than adult skin, but it is also less able to protect itself from injury. Babies under the age of 6 months should never be exposed to the sun and babies older than 6 months should always be protected.

Should your child get sunburn, The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you take the following steps:

1) For a baby under 1 year of age, sunburn should be treated as an emergency. Call a doctor immediately.

2) For a child over 1 year of age call a doctor if there is severe pain, blistering, lethargy or a fever over 101 degrees.

3) Sunburn can cause dehydration. Give your child plenty of water to replace body fluids.

4) Give acetaminophen (Tylenol etc.) if your child’s temperature is above 101 degrees.

5) Baths in clear, tepid water may help cool the skin.

6) Do not use any medicated creams such as hydrocortisone, benzocaine, etc. unless instructed by a physician.

7) Light moisturizing cream may help soothe the skin but don’t rub it in.

8) Keep the child out of the sun until the burn heals.

9) Make sure your child is protected, not just at the beach or pool, but also at play dates, preschool, daycare or anywhere else where they will possibly be outdoors.

Topics and Subtopics: Children's Health & Skin Health

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