don't let kids get burned

Basic tips about protecting your kids skin from the burning rays of the sun year-round. Protection now, can prevent problems later in life


The first line of defense against adult skin cancer, is protecting your child from damaging sunburns in childhood. Here are basic tips on keeping kids safe in the sun, all year.

Apply Sunscreen Every Day

To protect kids from the sun's damaging rays year-round, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests parents "apply sunscreen with an SPF of greater than 15 to kids 30 minutes before going outside . . . even on cloudy days." And in cooler months, do not forget the hands, and neck.
The AAP also warns that parents should not skimp on sunscreen and "reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating."

Dress for Protection

On summer days outside, make sure your kids are properly dressed. Cover them up with light-colored clothing and a hat with a 3-inch brim or a bill.

Plan Your Play Time

The AAP advises that kids stay "in the shade whenever possible and avoid sun exposure during the peak intensity hours--between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m."

Sun Sensitivity & Medication

Check with your child's doctor or your pharmacist about any medications your child is taking. Some medications cause sun sensitivity that even a sunscreen cannot fully counteract.

Pucker Up

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reminds parents to protect kids' lips from sun damage, too. Kids and parents should "wear a protective lip balm every day." Let kids know that licking their lips "magnifies the sun's rays" and remember to reapply lip balm frequently.

After a Burn

If your child does get a sunburn, KidsHealth recommends the following:
  • A cool (not cold) bath and wet compresses.
  • Aloe vera gel and a moisturizer (but not petroleum-based products (which trap heat) to soothe the skin.
  • Avoid first-aid sprays or creams with benzocaine, because they may cause skin irritation.
Additionally, KidsHealth reminds parents to keep kids well covered while they are recovering from a sunburn, to prevent further burning and damage to the skin.

Seek Medical Help

If :
  • the sunburn covers a large area, like the entire back side of your child's body

  • the burn begins to blister

  • your child experiences fever, chills, or headache; or if their skin feels hot and dry to touch after being sunburned. In this instance, take your child directly to the emergency room, as he could be suffering from a serious condition, heat exhaustion.
To help prevent infection and scars on sunburned skin, tell kids to pop or scratch blisters, and if necessary, keep severely burned skin covered with a gauze dressing until the blisters have subsided.
Important Disclaimer: This information is not meant as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a doctor with questions about your or your child's condition. does not recommend or endorse specific tests, products, procedures, opinions, or other information provided by any sponsors or other third parties. Please also see's Terms of Use.
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