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Sunburns: Prevention & Care

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The sunshine of summer allows for fun times for the whole family, but we must put safety first! While prevention is always the best method, it is helpful to know what to do when a sunburn happens. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Prevention
    • Infants <6 months of age should not be exposed to direct sunlight, however, if they do experience a sunburn, cool compresses should be applied to the area
    • Everyone >6 months of age should wear sunscreen and protective clothing when spending time in the sun
      • See the post on sunscreen/sun protection for more information!
  • Recognition & Treatment
    • The extent of the sunburn may not be evident until up to 12 hours after sun exposure and may appear as red, warm, and/or blistering skin
    • Other symptoms may include fever, chills, headache, and feeling ill
    • For treatment of mild/moderate sunburns apply cool compresses and bathe your child in cool water
    • Appropriately dosed acetaminophen (based on weight) can be used for pain associated with a sunburn
    • For severe burns, please contact your pediatrician immediately

Even when we do not burn, sun exposure without protection increases the risk for skin cancers. Prevention is key, but we hope these tips are helpful when a sunburn does occur. As always, if you have questions about preventing and caring for sunburns, please contact your pediatrician. For more information, visit these American Academy of Pediatrics links:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/skin/Pages/Sunburn-Treatment-and-Prevention.aspx

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Sun-Safety-and-Protection-Tips.aspx

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