Child burned in the sun: what to do?

The summer sun, or rather its rays – it’s like medicine for the body and soul (promotes the production of happy hormones, it helps to get out of depression), and the source of a considerable amount of dangers. It should be treated like any other drug, that is, the sun should take the dosage, otherwise, a summer walk outdoors is nothing but trouble and health problems will not bring. This is especially true of children, who are much more susceptible to burning in the sun.

What actions should be taken to provide first aid to a child with sunburn? When you need to connect medical care? What supplies and equipment should be present in the home Arsenal to at any moment to be willing to help a sun-burnt baby? The answers to these questions as well as the rules of stay of children in the open sun, every parent should know. After all, who will care for your child like you?

What is sunburn? Its symptoms

Sunburn is fotochromatyczne reaction of the skin resulting from prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. It leads to the death of epidermal cells and release of special biologically active substances that cause itching of the skin, hyperemia (overflow of blood vessels within a certain area of the body) and often the detachment of the top layer of skin with formation of bubbles.


If an adult, being in direct sunlight may scorch in 30 minutes, the children, usually 10 minutes. And speaking of babies up to three years, that it is generally not recommended stay in the open sun, as a protective reaction of the skin they are still far from perfect: they can burn only 3-5 minutes.

Features of sunburn in children:

  1. Sunburn in children in most cases combined with signs of heat stroke due to their not yet completely debugged thermoregulation.
  2. As a result of burn in babies often develop bubbles that are easy to injure and infect. This is due to thinner skin and its weak protective stratum corneum.
  3. The same vastness of the burned area of the skin in an infant carries a two times greater risk than an adult in connection with a different ratio of body weight.
  4. The younger the child, the more sensitive to UV light his eyes. Therefore, burns to the face of an infant in most cases it is combined with burns of the eyes, which in turn is a dangerous development of cataracts and decreased vision.


Dangerous or even “evil” sunburn is that its presence appears only a few hours after the fact burning, and fully it makes itself known in about eight hours. The beach, kids often get quite severe burns, after all, inexperienced parents are not in a hurry to take them with the open sun until, until the skin is a little red.

All the symptoms of sunburn are divided into three groups based on the degree of skin damage:

1-I — a mild form of burn, which is familiar to almost all parents:

  • redness of the skin;
  • burning.

2 — the average severity of a burn:

  • more severe pain;
  • may increase the body temperature of the child to 38-40 degrees (typically two-three hours after the fact of erosion);
  • the appearance of watery blisters on the burned areas of the skin;
  • the child is restless and whiny.

3 — a severe form of sunburn. Besides all these symptoms, the child still appears:

  • nausea and vomiting;
  • swollen skin;
  • possible shortness of breath;
  • sometimes loss of consciousness (resuscitation).

Severe sunburn in practice, fortunately, you can find quite rare.

It is important

Moderate and severe form of burns is the indication for immediate hospitalization of the child, because they can only be treated in a hospital.

Do not forget about the eyes, because sunburn is no less dangerous for them. It can be recognized by the following symptoms:

  • swollen eyelids;
  • reddened eyes;
  • intensive secretion of tears from the eyes;
  • reduced ability to see.

While revealing her baby any symptom from the list should go to the ophthalmologist.

First aid for sunburn in a child

Every parent needs to know what actions are required from it and in what sequence, in the case of its receipt by the child of sunburn. Providing the “right” first aid to your baby, you really can help him by reducing pain and inflammation.

So, for first aid burn of the sun the child should perform the following necessary steps:

  • Step 1. Take the baby in deep shadow (the best option is some room).
  • Step 2nd. In the presence of symptoms, talking about the presence of burn second or third degree of severity, to call an ambulance.
  • Step 3rd. Cool affected skin area with cool water. This can be done in the shower, in the bathroom, or by using wet compresses using soaked in cool water cotton towel or diaper. The compress needs to be changed as it is heating up (every 20-30 minutes). But it is important not to overdo it, so as not to SuperCool a child, especially, need to be careful, trying to cool the skin of young children (best to use slightly warm water). Such actions will help to reduce the pain and reduce the skin temperature.
  • Step 4. After the child better, the charred surface of the skin should be treated with a special product (cream, mousse, milk) against sunburn.


According to experts, children’s burns, including from the sun, it is best to handle the funds in the form of aerosols, which allow to avoid direct contact with inflamed skin.

  • Step 5th. Dressing charred baby only in clothes cut free from the natural soft tissue to not further traumatize the skin.
  • Step 6-th. A prerequisite for sunburn is to drink plenty of liquids, because in this state, the child loses a lot of water. Drinking diet in this period can be: freshly squeezed juices, fruit drinks, mineral water without gas.

Child sun: the to anoint?

The use of any drugs regardless of the severity of the burn should discuss it with your pediatrician. The exception is for funds on the basis of such an active substance as dexpanthenol – provitamin B5 (Bepanten, D-Panthenol, Korneregel, etc.). The preparation, the main constituent is a component of dexpanthenol is a great helper in the treatment of sunburn, since this substance:

  • stimulates the regeneration of tissues;
  • adjusts cellular metabolism;
  • make more durable collagen fibers.

In addition to medication on the basis of dexpanthenol for the normalization of a sun-burnt child in Pediatrics applied and other medications, including:

  1. Antihistamines, which help remove the itching, swelling and burning in the affected areas of the skin (e.g., Fenistil, Ketzin).
  2. Funds from anesthetic effects (e.g., Amprovizol). As a rule, the main component of such preparations is the menthol which is cooling to the skin, thereby markedly facilitating the child’s condition.
  3. Hormones (steroid hormones), which are used for quick relief of inflammation and pain that occurs with sunburn (the most popular means of AvoDerm, Ftorokort). If these drugs to use a short time, they will not bring the child’s body absolutely no harm.
  4. Antiseptic (eg Miramistin ointment and cream AGROSALON). These funds must be applied in the presence of charred child’s blisters.
  5. Tools to speed up the healing process (for example, ointment Solcoseryl). As a rule, they are appointed after the acute inflammation period.
  6. Antipyretic drugs (e.g. Nurofen (ibuprofen) or Paracetamol). These drugs are usually used in the first hours after the sunburn. They not only help to normalize body temperature but to reduce the pain.

Folk remedy to burning in the sun


Despite the fact that folk remedies are more available, however, preference should be given proven medicines, especially when talking about the baby. If for any reason you cannot use the pharmacy tools, then you can use one of the following recipes.

It is also important to understand that traditional methods can only be used for minor burns, first degree. In addition, before using them it is advisable to consult a pediatrician.

The most popular folk remedies used for sunburn include:

  1. Fermented dairy products. Quite common is the view that burns the best way is sour cream or yogurt. And in fact, in the first few minutes after applying on the burned skin fermented “drugs” becomes a little easier due to the moisture, and if the product is also chilled, a few reduced pain. However, as soon as the same sour cream begins to dry (usually 15 minutes after application), the skin a feeling of tightness and oily film, which doubles the already unpleasant. Therefore, using these tools, you need to be aware of the mandatory removal of the surface skin in about 10 minutes.
  2. Potato compresses. Peeled potatoes should be grated on a small grater or grind in a blender to form a slurry. The resulting product is applied to the affected area of skin and fixed with gauze. The compress can be kept for about half an hour. The procedure should be repeated several times throughout the day. I should add that in the absence of potatoes, you can use a little diluted in water potato starch. According to popular opinion, this method helps to reduce inflammation and pain.
  3. Cucumber compresses, which are applied in the same way as potato. However, it should be understood that, drying up, some cucumber juice tightens the skin, so it is important to monitor the condition of the compress, in order to wash the skin with plain water.
  4. Sauerkraut. This product must be refrigerated. It is applied on the skin for approximately 15 minutes. The procedure can be repeated every hour.
  5. Aloe Vera juice is a fairly effective and affordable, helping to ease the child’s condition and speed up the regeneration of his skin.

Unfortunately, among the popular methods of the use of which may cause harm to the baby and greatly aggravate the situation. Therefore, every parent needs to know what “helpful” advice from compassionate relatives and friends should be ignored, in order not to harm your baby.

So, sunburns are strictly prohibited:

  • lubricate the damaged skin with any oil or product containing petroleum jelly and other greasy components. Such products can lead to more serious as sunburn and slow the healing process;
  • to apply ointment, which contains anesthetics such as benzocaine or lidocaine;
  • to disinfect the skin with soap or alcohol-based solutions;
  • perforation of the blisters. Second-degree burns should be treated exclusively in the hospital as there is a high risk of infection through the affected areas of skin;
  • exfoliate the skin of the child. You never want to help the epidermis to be updated. This whole process should take place autonomously, without any intervention. Otherwise, you, unwittingly, could harm the baby, it injure the skin or cause infection.

Prevention of sunburn in children

Naturally, the best help from loving parents for your child who loves to bathe in the sun, is to reduce the risk of its burning. In order to protect the baby from getting sunburn, it is enough to follow a few simple rules:

  1. From eleven to seventeen and PM should not allow the baby to be in the open sun.
  2. Always in the daytime, the exposed areas of baby’s skin should be protected with a special sunscreen.
  3. During your stay on the beach the child should be dressed in light, natural clothing boxy, and the head have a wide-brimmed Panama.
  4. The main part of the daytime, the baby should stay in the shade.

If one is mindful of at least these four conditions, your memories of summer vacation with your baby will be warm and joyful, and unpleasant stories about sunburn will not have to do with you.

Larisa Tokareva, pediatrician, medical columnist