Summer Family Moments

Toddlers and Sunburns: Dos and Don'ts

Christine Coppa and Jack Domenic
Your toddler is always slathered with SPF, wearing a protective hat, and taking shade breaks. Good for you -- and him.

But on the off chance he gets a sunburn this summer, follow these basic dos and don'ts to ensure a quick and comfy recovery.

Do give your tot a big drink of water, cold sports drink, or ice pop. This will help him recover from the inside out and replace fluids lost by being exposed to heat and harmful rays.

Do apply a cool compress to the infected area. Submerge a soft washcloth into cool, not ice cold, water, then wring it out and let stand for a moment. Apply the compress to the skin and remove after about 12 minutes. Do this multiple times a day.

Do pamper. Offer up a lukewarm bath with oatmeal. After the bath, apply a water-based (always non-alcoholic) lotion.

Do medicate. Say no to aspirin, but if your child is in pain, give him the preferred dose of Motrin or Tylenol to ease discomfort.

Don't use sprays or topical ointments that contain the ingredient benzocaine -- this will irritate the child's skin more.

Don't dress your child in form-fitting clothes. Even if your toddler lounges in training pants and a sleep shirt, he'll be better off because he won't be subject to further irritation from garments.

Don't apply oil, butters, or jelly-type ointments: All of these products trap in heat and even prevent your child from sweating. The idea is to keep him cool.


Note: These tips are based on one mom's experience. You should consult with your doctor.


Has your toddler ever suffered from sunburn? How did you treat it?

Image via Christine Coppa

health, summer safety, summer survival, summer vacations


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APeve... APeveteaux

Awww, toddler sunburn makes me sad!

LoriA... LoriAnn87

no thankfully my son has not gotten it really bad but if has a little sunburn i put some aloe vera on him. i'm going to past these tips onto my mil becasue she needs to know what to do just in case.

sodapple sodapple

luckily no, but i did once while in camp. all i can say is ouch!

tazdvl tazdvl

My girls haven't but my son used to when he went with his dad or his dads family.

Pnukey Pnukey

My kids don't burn, they tan. I, however, burn just thinking about the sun, so I know what to do in case my kids every defy nature and burn. Even so, we have some good aloe lotion on hand.

clean... cleanaturalady

My kids have had a couple of sunburns, but nothing too bad.  I used to burn very badly as a kid.

Proud... ProudSingleMum

I slather my kiddo. But I'm going to reply to this, just so I have it saved JUST IN CASE!

(One of my friends has spent the last year (or more) dealing with her FIL's skin cancer...all from when he was a kiddo and got too much sun. SO...let's say, knowing what they're going through...we take the precautions!


Also people...don't forget the sunglasses...they're important for eye safety!

Carey... Carey2006

No....he got a lil too much sun the other day but not too bad.

ethan... ethans_momma06

He hasnt yet but the other day he was in the sun so long I thought he might....

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