Children are at a higher risk of suffering from sunburn compared to adults
because their skin is much more sensitive. Although all children need
to be properly protected from sun exposure, children with pale skin, fair
hair, and green or blue eyes are particularly susceptible to sunburn.
Sometimes, sunburn is severe enough to require urgent care at an
urgent care for kids.
When to Seek Urgent Care
If your child is younger than 12 months, he or she should see an after
hours pediatrician promptly for sunburn, regardless of how minor the sunburn
may appear to be. If your child is one year old or older, mild sunburn
is not likely to require medical attention. However, regardless of age,
your child should go to an urgent care facility if he or she develops
blistering skin within 24 hours, swelling on the face or hands, or signs
of an infection. Headache, fever, chills, and pain are other indicators
that urgent care is needed. Some children may vomit, complain of lightheadedness, or faint.
How to Comfort Your Child
The emergency pediatrician may recommend administering children’s
ibuprofen if he or she is at least six months old and in pain. However,
it’s advisable to avoid administering any over-the-counter drugs
unless they are recommended by a doctor. Keep your child indoors or in
the shade until the sunburn is fully healed. Run a cool bath for your
child with an oatmeal-based bath gel. Use a very soft towel to gently
pat your child dry, apply aloe vera gel to soothe the skin, and dress
him or her in soft, loose clothing.
How to Prevent Future Sunburn
Sunburn during childhood has been linked to an
increased risk of skin cancer in adulthood. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 about a half
hour before your child goes outdoors. Reapply the sunscreen as often as
indicated on the product label. Sunscreen is necessary even on cloudy
days and during cool weather. It’s also a good idea to encourage
your child to wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
For all of your child’s urgent care needs, the emergency pediatricians of
Pediatrics After Hours are available seven days per week with extended hours. Our urgent care
facility near Dallas provides burn treatment, wound treatment, and pain
management. Call us at (214) 613-1900 or visit our website to view our
hours and locations.