SUN AND CHILDREN: HOW TO PROTECT THEM
Summer means playing outdoors and going to the beach where children are out in the sun, exposing them to sun allergy rashes. If this happens you need to use a sun cream, above all for your kids, which means you need to know something about the precautions and remedies that will protect your child. If you are concerned, call your paediatrician.
Before talking about sunburn let’s take a look at what we mean by sunburn; Sunburn is red, painful skin that feels hot to the touch that may appear within a few hours after too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from sunshine. If an adult needs to avoid excessive exposure to the sun, it is even more important for children because their skin is thinner than that of adults and they do not produce much melanin compared to adults. Because their skin is more delicate, it does not filter UV rays as in a more mature person and therefore, if you are not careful, your child may get sunburn.
Parents should know what sunburn looks like in order to treat it properly. Typically redness and soreness caused by sunburn will take about two hours to show up after exposure to sunlight. In more serious cases blisters may form accompanied by fever and chills.
To treat sunburn, you should call your doctor for professional advice. In the meantime, to give some relief you may cool the skin with a cold bath or shower, sponging the area with cold water and rice starch or holding a cold flannel against it; give your child plenty of fluids to cool them down and prevent dehydration.
You can also take precautions to reduce the possibility of a relapse. Be extra careful with babies under six months, since their skin is very sensitive; keep your baby in the shade and out of the sun, at least during the hottest hours of the day. In all other case, slap on a sunscreen with a very high protection factor (SPF), better still if recommended by your doctor, and get your child wear sunglasses with protective lenses and a loose cotton shirt to protect the skin. Being outdoors in the sun is good for your children, you simply need to make sure you keep their bodies safe in the sunshine.
The small precautions you take will protect your baby's skin even from more serious diseases in the future and if by accident your child does get sunburn the important thing is that you know what to to. Remember though that your pediatrician will always be ready to help you with advise.