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Video:Kids and Sunburns

with Kathy Moore

Sunburns are all too common during the hot summer months, so what do you do if your child gets one? Find out how to treat and soothe a minor sunburn, and learn when a doctor's visit is necessary.See Transcript

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Transcript:Kids and Sunburns

Hi, I'm Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. We all know that a day in the sun is fun, but that too much sun is not. Sunburns, especially in young children, are the leading cause of skin cancer. This program offers some tips on what to do to sooth summers burn.

Detecting a Child's Sunburn

Unlike other burns, a sunburn is not always quickly noticed. By the time your child's skin starts to become painful and red, the damage is already done. The worst pain from a sunburn occurs between 6 and 48 hours after being in the sun.

Sunburns are usually classified as first degree burns. They are described as redness, tenderness and soreness. They are minor and heal quickly. But, for toddlers or infants, this can seem like a lifetime.

Reducing Sunburn Pain

The first step in relieving pain is cold. A cold compress, a wet washcloth or even a package of frozen vegetables can help soothe your childs skin. Do not put ice directly onto a burn as this may delay the healing process.

If the burn is over a large area, make a cool bath with oatmeal. Or, wrap your child in a bath towel that has been soaked in baking soda and cold water.

Apply Lotion to the Sunburn

Once the initial pain has been reduced, apply lotion to the skin. Aloe based lotions are the best and try to avoid any lotions that have fragrances since they might further aggravate your child's sensitive skin. Lotion will help the skin stay moist and help reduce itching. Try to avoid rubbing a burn. This movement can increase blistering.

Treatment for Blistering Sunburns

If the sunburn includes blistering, this raises the severity of the burn to a second degree burn. This type of burn requires professional medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid infection. Initially, though, follow the same treatment as with a first degree burn, using a cold compress or wet washcloth to soothe the skin.

Sunburn Prevention Tips

Everyone is at risk for skin cancer, but luckily, sunscreen, hats and the correct clothing can help reduce the chances for you and your children. So, apply sunscreen before you head out and reapply it if you will be out all day.

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