Posts for tag: Sunburn
In the summer—or any season for that matter—protecting your kids from the sun’s harmful rays is a must. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it is estimated that 80% of lifetime sun exposure occurs during childhood—that one blistering sunburn can double the risk of getting melanoma later in life. Protect your children now so that you can protect them for a lifetime from skin cancer and other skin conditions.
The American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Pediatrics offer five important steps to sun safety for children. By following these tips, you can continue to protect your children from the harmful effects of the sun:
- Limit outdoor activity between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Even when it is cloudy or cool out, the ultraviolet (UV) rays continue to remain strong. Shady areas can even be tricky because of reflected light.
- Apply sunscreen properly. Thirty minutes prior to your child going out in the sun, it is important to apply sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15 or higher. Scented or colorful sunscreens might appeal to some kids and can even make it easier to see which areas have been covered properly. When applying sunscreen, don’t forget the nose, ears, hands, feet, shoulders and behind the neck.
- Cover up. Wearing protective clothing is also an excellent choice in protecting your children from the sun’s harmful rays. When wet, light-colored clothing transmits just as much sunlight as bare skin, so keep your kids covered in dark colors, long sleeves and pants whenever possible. Also, don’t forget the sunglasses and hats for added protection.
- Understand your child’s medications. Some medications can increase your child’s skin sensitivity to the sun, so make sure to ask your doctor whether your child is at risk or not. The most notorious culprits of this sensitivity tend to be prescription antibiotics and acne medications.
- Set a good example. Remember, your children will often mirror your actions so make sure you follow these sun safety rules as well. Skin protection is not only important for children, but it is vital for every member of the family—regardless of age. Team up with your children and stay protected when life brings you outside to bask in the sunshine.
Contact your dermatologist for more information on how you can successfully protect your children from the sun’s harmful rays. While it is not required to avoid the sun altogether, your dermatologist does urge you to take every precaution possible to protect your child for a lifetime.
Although it may only seem like a temporary irritation, a sunburn can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. Skin that is sunburned is red, tender and warm to the touch. Severely sunburned skin may even result in the formation of painful blisters.
Too much sun is especially dangerous for children. One severe sunburn during childhood may double a child’s lifetime risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
It may take up to 24 hours after sun exposure to recognize the severity of your burn. For mild burns, follow these tips to relieve discomfort:
- Avoid the sun. Spending additional time in the sun after you already have a sunburn will only worsen the negative effects and delay the healing process.
- Take a cool shower or bath to relieve any pain or discomfort. Apply a cool compress, like a damp cloth, to the skin to help reduce discomfort.
- Apply moisturizer or cream to soothe the skin. Aloe gel is a common household remedy for sunburns as it helps ease pain and inflammation.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin surface and away from the rest of the body.
- Take ant-inflammatory medications. Do this as directed by your doctor to help decrease the inflammation and reduce redness and pain.
- Do not pop any blisters. This will slow the healing process and increase the risk for infection.
In most cases a sunburn does not require medical attention. Call a doctor immediately if there are signs of heat exhaustion, dehydration, fever, severe blistering or other serious reactions.
Fortunately, sunburns are completely preventable. Remember to always wear sunscreen and limit overexposure to the sun by seeking shade and wearing appropriate clothes and accessories that cover the skin, such as hats and sunglasses.
Remember, prevention is better than cure, so remember to take extra precaution to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays!