Sunburn Prevention and Treatment for Children

We wrote a couple of tips for sunburn prevention and treatment for children.

Skin cancer has become more of a concern to adults and medical professionals in the last thirty years. Medical professionals say that even one good sunburn on a child can set the grounds for skin cancer later in life. If your child tends to have very fair skin and quite a bit of mole, then parents should look for moles that become black because this can indicate skin cancer. If you are an adult and have dark moles, watch those as well or see a medical professional because those can also be the start of skin cancer. Make sure your children wear sunscreen when they are playing outside. SPF 15 is recommended for a regular day in the sun and read the directions to make sure you reapply as the directions state. If it’s hot and your child is near the water SPF 35 is sufficient and also read the directions if it is a hot day and reapply as necessary.

Your child can get only a couple of bad sunburns and this can increase their risk of skin cancer as they get older. This doesn’t mean that kids have to be at the beach, near water or playing outside to be exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. Whenever your kids are playing outdoors, they still need to be protected from the sun’s ultraviolet harmful rays (UV).

Look for Shade

The rays are the strongest between 10 am and 2 pm and also the most harmful. This is the time to plan activities inside and if you can’t do this on a daily basis then sit under a tree, use an umbrella, a pop-up tent or look for a cabana. Many apartment complexes are including cabana’s in their pool section. These are good options to choose or prevent sunburn. It’s better to stop sunburn before it happens rather than to find relief after your child gets a terrible burn.

Cover your Skin

You should cover up your child with lightweight shirts that have long sleeves, or pants and skirts. Clothing that is made from fabric that is tightly woven gives the best protection. A wet T-shirt gives less protection in regards to UV rays than a dry one. Dark colors also help give more protection than lighter ones. There is some clothing that is made that offers information and is certified with an ultraviolet protective factor.

Wear a Hat

Purchase hats that provide shade around the areas of the scalp, neck, ears, and face and make sure they are made of good materials. These kinds of hats offer great protection. Baseball caps are very popular with kids, however; they don’t provide the necessary protection around the neck and ears. If your kid wants to wear a cap, be sure to use sunscreen on the areas that are still exposed to the sun.


Sunglasses are good because they protect your children’s eyes from the UV rays of the sun. UV rays can lead to eye problems later in life, so look for sunglasses that wrap around to block as close to a hundred percent of harmful UVA or UVB rays if possible.

Wear Sunscreen and Reapply

Parents should purchase a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB protection. Parents should put this sunscreen on their children every time they go outside. If you want the best protection, apply sunscreen 30 minutes for your family is going to be outside. Make sure you apply this generously and don’t forget to use it on the ears, nose, lips, and tops of the feet.

Make sure you take the sunscreen with you so you can keep reapplying it all day long especially after your child is exercising or swimming. Even if the product claims it is waterproof and water-resistant, reapply the sunscreen. When it comes to using sunscreen products on babies less than 6 months old, please read the description on the package. The products don’t contain the same ingredients; so if your child has a skin reaction with one product, try a different one, and call your doctor. The best defense your baby has against sunburn is staying in the shade or staying out of the sun altogether.

Remember that sunscreen doesn’t work if let kids play for hours in the hot sun. You can try to combine sunscreen with other sun protectors to prevent the damage from UV rays.

Sunburn is Painful

If you notice your child is turning pink, this means your child will have a burn by evening. Skin that is unprotected from the sun’s UV rays can be damaged in as little as a few minutes. It takes almost twelve hours for skin to show the damage from being exposed to the sun when their skin is unprotected. Parents should get their child out of the sun as soon as possible if they start turning pink.

Tanning looks lovely on many people because it shows radiance and health but there’s no other way to say it, except the fact that tanning still is damaging your skin. Any change in someone’s skin color including your child’s skin after being outdoors for a while tells you that their skin was damaged by UV rays. It doesn’t matter whether it’s tanning or sunburn.

Cloudy and Cool Weather

Kids still need to be protected when the weather is cloudy and cooler outside because those UV rays are still popping through the clouds. The temperature doesn’t do any damage, it’s the UV rays that are the culprit. The clouds just filter them and that’s only slightly.

Kids still are able to get a sunburn when they are outdoors and unprotected for a longer time. Always remember to plan ahead and keep sunscreen handy at all times. Keep it in the car, your purse, your child’s backpack, in the trunk or glove box. You never know when you are going to stop at a park for an hour for a spontaneous playdate. Keep that beautiful skin healthy because a child’s skin is so beautiful and delicate.