Sun Safety for Children
Have you ever allowed your
children to go to the beach with friends only to regret it?
Maybe your babysitter decided to take her children and carried your
one-year old along in a stroller, but didn’t bother to apply sunscreen.
“I’ve seen some Mothers pretty irate at seeing their
returned to them looking like little lobsters after allowing them to go with
friends to the beach” says Dr. Michael Hall.
“I don’t advocate murder, but can empathize with parents who lose
sleep over uncomfortable sunburned children.”
Babies under a year of age should stay out of the sun.
Dress them in lightweight, light-colored clothing and always cover their
head with a hat. Keeping the
baby under the beach umbrella or other shade is a good idea.
Use sunscreen with a PF of at least 15, but don’t use a sunblock with a
PF over 4 on babies under 6 months. Sunblocks
contain chemicals that babies under 6 months of age may not be able to eliminate
from their bodies.
Reflective surfaces can bounce the sun’s rays back onto your baby’s
skin or into the eyes. If your child is squinting while in the shade, there is a
Apply sunscreen on older children at least hourly, and use a higher PF on
the ears, bridge of the nose and collar bone areas.
If your child returns from the
beach with sunburn, here are some tips for easing their discomfort – and
keeping you sane.
Run a cool bath with about ¼ ounce of emu oil in it.
Do not under any circumstances put in baby oil, bubble bath or bath
salts. They won’t do anything to
help the skin and will in some cases be an irritant.
After the bath, gently pat the child dry with a soft towel.
Apply emu oil as a moisturizer.
Do not use creams or petroleum jelly – these products block the skin
and prevent the heat from getting out.
Rehydrate with clear liquids rather than milk to avoid nausea.
Avoid caffeinated beverages like iced tea or colas.
Try diluted Gatorade, water, ice chips, flat ginger ale, or Popsicles.
If the skin is actually red and not just pink you can give a baby aspirin
every four hours to help control the pain.
Make the child stay out of the sun.
Yes, I know, they will whine. Do
you want to listen to the whining now while they sit under the umbrella or
tonight while they are in more pain?
If the sunburn is bright red, if
there are blisters, nausea, fever or chills, the child needs to see a doctor
For more information, visit their website at http://www.outbackmedic.com