The end of the school year is here once again, signaling the start of another long, humid Indiana summer. We all know that before sending your children outside that they should apply sunscreen, yet sunburns are responsible for tens of thousands of visits to the emergency room every year.
So, whether your kids are in a summer league or just love spending all day out by the pool, here are some helpful tips to know before letting them out in the sun.
Although it only takes 15 minutes for a sunburn to develop, symptoms may not appear until 6 to 12 hours after exposure. If you notice your child’s skin is turning red or starting to swell, get them out of the sun immediately. Try to cool down the burn with a quick cold bath, compresses or aloe vera lotion. Avoid applying ice directly on the skin or using harsh soaps. When the skin is still damp, moisturize gently with lotion. Ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin can help relieve pain, swelling and inflammation. Most important of all, make sure they drink plenty of water to rehydrate their skin.
Not all sunburns can be treated at home. More severe burns may require topical antibiotics and gauze coverings for blisters. Seek medical attention if you or your child are experiencing:
In the short term, sunburns can be painful, causing nausea, blisters and even infections. However, in the long term, ongoing exposure to UV rays can lead to premature wrinkles, sun spots and skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, just five sunburns can double your risk for melanoma. But it can easily be prevented by being more careful in the sun:
If your kids are at the neighborhood park or just playing in the backyard, St. Vincent Neighborhood Hospital provides quick, streamlined emergency care close to you. Our emergency room is staffed with emergency-trained physicians and nurses, ready to treat burns, infections, bug bites and any other situations that may arise this summer.