First Aid for Sunburn - top tips for treatment and prevention







The sun’s UV rays can quickly damage children’s skin, even on a cloudy day. Fair skinned people and children burn particularly easily, but absolutely anyone can damage their skin in the sun.

First Aid for Sunburn

First aid for sunburnPlease share with all your friends on holiday

Posted by First Aid for Life on Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Watch the above Facebook Live showing the best way to treat sunburn

To avoid sunburn:

  1. Always wear appropriate sunscreen, apply liberally over face and body and re-apply every 2-3 hours.
  2. Take particular care if swimming or boating as water intensifies the sun’s rays
  3. Dress in tightly woven opaque clothes ideally with a sun factor rating
  4. Regularly go indoors or move into shade.
  5. Avoid being in the sun between 11:00 am and 3:00pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  6. Wear a hat, ideally with an SPF factor, wide brim and ear cover.
  7. Wear sunglasses.
  8. Protect little ones in the car and buggy too and use sun shades.

If a child is sunburnt they will need medical attention:


First Aid for sunburn:

Cool under a tepid shower for at least 20 minutes, or apply repeated cool wet towels for 15 minutes. When completely cooled, apply neat Aloe Vera gel to the affected area, this will soothe, reduce swelling and promote healing. Drink plenty and take Paracetamol for the pain. Burn gel can also be helpful. Seek medical advice.

Keep hydrated

It is vitally important to drink plenty in the heat – even if you do not feel thirsty. Continually encourage little ones to drink lots of water as dehydration can quickly lead to heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion can come on suddenly following exposure to the sun, causing a raised temperature, nausea, dizziness, a head ache, or stomach cramps and can lead to collapse.

First Aid for heat exhaustion:

Re-hydrate fast, ideally with Dioralyte, water or an isotonic sports drink. Seek medical advice.

Key advice: Combine sufficient sunscreen, appropriate clothing and shade with lots of drinks, and enjoy the summer!

For other information on how to treat burns, consult this article.

For specific information about children sunburns, click here



First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that parents attend a practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

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