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Tips for Treating Sunburn in Children

by | Apr 24, 2023

Looking for tips for treating sunburn in children? KidsStreet Urgent Care has the answers you need. 

What Are The Risks Of Sunburn In Kids? 

Getting sunburnt is never a fun experience – especially for little ones. Even worse, sustaining a sunburn is extremely easy due to children’s skin being sensitive to the sun. It only takes 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure to get a sunburn, and the consequences can be uncomfortable and painful. Additionally, excessive sunburns can lead to skin cancer later in life, so it is important to protect your children from this condition as much as possible. 

Most sunburns are not serious, and only amount to a superficial or first-degree burn. In the event that your child gets a severe sunburn, you should take them to a medical provider. To learn more about sunburns in children, visit our Minor Burns and Sunburns In Children page. 

Symptoms And Signs Of Sunburn

The telltale signs of sunburn in kids are easy to spot; however, they sometimes do not show until six to twelve hours after the initial burn. Your child will likely be most uncomfortable in the 24 hours after getting burnt, but these symptoms should resolve within a few days. 

Typically, kids who have mildly sunburned skin will present with the following symptoms: 

  • Redness of the skin
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Pain

In cases of severe sunburn, children may also experience: 

  • Fever, chills
  • Headache
  • Nausea 

If you suspect your child has sustained a severe sunburn, you should seek medical treatment.

How Do I Treat My Child’s Sunburn? 

In mild cases, treating sunburn in children is fairly simple. To quickly alleviate any pain associated with the burn, treatment options include:

  • Giving your child a cool bath. Do not give them a cold bath, as this could further irritate or damage the skin. 
  • Apply topical creams such as aloe vera and moisturizer to sunburned areas. 
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medications such as children’s Tylenol, Motrin, or Ibuprofen. 
  • Keep them out of the sun until the burn heals. If they must spend time outside, make them wear protective clothing or wide-brim hats. 

At KidsStreet Urgent Care, we offer sunburn treatment in our urgent care services for children. We would love to help your child heal and feel better, fast! 

How Do I Prevent My Child Getting Sunburnt?

Sunburns are easy to avoid with the right preventative methods. Best practices to prevent sunburn in children include: 

  • Applying sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher 30 minutes before sun exposure, and frequently throughout the day. 
  • If outside for long periods of time, try to sit near or in the shade. Umbrellas are also a great method for shading yourself and your child from the sun. 
  • Ensuring your child wears protective clothing such as tightly woven, wide brimmed hats and full-coverage bathing suits. 
  • Limiting unprotected exposure to UV rays as much as possible. 
  • Taking frequent breaks from being outside, especially between 10am to 4pm in warmer months. 

Additionally, it is of utmost importance that you protect kids younger than six months of age from sunburn as their skin is more susceptible to sunburn than older kids. You can do this by keeping them shaded, and applying small amounts of sunscreen to their face and extremities. 

Turn To KidsStreet Urgent Care

If your child has gotten sunburnt, worry no more! KidsStreet Urgent Care is here to help you learn more about treating sunburn in kids. 

To visit one of our clinics, register online. You will be able to wait from your care or your home until we are ready for you. 

We always accept walk-in patients, but please be aware that registering online reduces in-clinic wait times. Walk-ins are added to the same queue as those who register online. 


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