How To Treat Your Kid's Sunburn This Summer

Summer is here and while many of us try our very best to protect our kids from the sun, mistakes sometimes happen. 

The best way to prevent sunburn is, of course, to cover your children in sun cream but sometimes things happen.

Here are some ways to treat sunburn so your child will not be complaining about the pain or discomfort:

Cool the skin down.

Once you notice your child’s skin is burnt you should take the heat out of the skin by putting a cold damp towel on the affected area. If your child is willing, get them into a cold shower or a cool bath. Once the skin has been cooled make sure your child dries themselves off gently without hurting the skin.


 The next step is to moisturise the skin and there are plenty of after sun lotions that are cooling, and some have hints of natural goodness in them too like aloe vera. Make sure you use the right type of moisturiser as some lotions are not suitable for sunburn treatment, for example, petroleum is not suitable. Petroleum can trap the heat into the skin and cause a lot more pain and discomfort. As the summer comes in (or if you are heading on holidays) make sure you have the right type of moisturiser easily at hand for these instances.


 If your child seems uncomfortable or if it is sore in an area that may keep them awake consider giving them some ibuprofen and they will find it helps their symptoms. A lot of kids are resilient and won’t need it, but others can find sunburn extremely distressing. It depends on your child’s age but anyone who has ever suffered sunburn knows how much it aggravates your sleep and mood.

Hydrate the body and rest

It is important for kids to drink plenty of water on hot days but if they have sunburn it is more important as they need the fluids. If your child doesn’t like too much water throw a drop of fruit squash into it and remind them to drink throughout the day. Furthermore, if their skin is burnt, they will need to stay away from direct sunlight and rest. The risk is, that they could suffer sunstroke, and this causes all sorts of other problems. Make sure your child has clothes that are cool but will cover their skin up, so they are not at risk regardless of whether they have sun cream on or not. Give your child’s skin time to heal.

Watch your child.

If your child becomes dizzy, weak or is shivering then you should seek some medical attention. You will know if your child is not well and if they have had their skin burnt than there is every chance, they could suffer from sun stroke. Don’t forget to tell your child to leave their skin alone and not to scratch or touch blisters (if they have them) as this could cause infection and scarring if it gets out of hand.  

Note: We know how bad it is for your child's skin to get burnt but sometimes it happens accidentally and while we advise prevention is key, it is good to know how to manage sunburn, should it happen. Using a high factor on your child’s skin is vital, as well as keeping them in shaded areas at peak times between 11-3pm. If they get sunburnt, ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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