How To Treat Sunburn on a Baby

Albeit parents take their infant’s sun protection seriously, sometimes, the unpredictable and scorching sun can leave their little one with sunburn. It’s essential to have an understanding of how to soothe and prevent further irritation when dealing with how to treat sunburn on a baby.

We’ve all heard about how important it is for kids (and adults) to use sunscreen. Nonetheless, even taking care, your infant may still develop a sunburn. UV rays are especially hazardous to infants. Dr. Debra M. Langlois, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan, explains that this is because their skin is delicate and sensitive.

If your child develops a sunburn, you should not panic. Continue reading to discover how to treat your baby’s sunburn and prevent it from recurring.

Baby Sunburn Remedy

The degree of sunburns ranges from little discomfort and redness to agony, peeling, and blistering. Typically, sunburn pain lasts approximately 48 hours. Follow these procedures to ensure your infant’s comfort and to prevent additional injury.

Chill them down.

When it comes to treating a baby’s sunburn, the majority of physicians recommend a cool compress or tepid bath (you can even add some soothing baking soda or oatmeal bath powder). Alan Greene, M.D., a pediatrician in Portola Valley, California, explains that continuing harm can occur as long as the skin is hot.

Hydrate their skin.

Dr. Greene believes that once your baby’s skin has cooled, the biggest ongoing damage is caused by the skin drying out. Using a mild, alcohol-free moisturizer will combat dryness. Aloe vera solutions are widely used to treat sunburns, but some children are allergic to them. If you’re unsure, it’s better to avoid using them—the last thing you want is another rash! Moreover, Dr. Greene favors moisturizers containing vitamin E. Use the moisturizer multiple times per day, particularly after bathing and before bedtime.

Provide pain medicine as necessary.

If your infant has a severe sunburn with skin irritation, see your pediatrician about administering ibuprofen (for infants older than 6 months) to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. “Ibuprofen is most effective when the pain is due to inflammation (red, tender, hot, or swollen tissue). Because it is anti-inflammatory, it relieves pain at the location of inflammation,” elucidates Dr. Greene. He says that acetaminophen can also be effective, but it does not alleviate the inflammation, only the pain.

Make them feel at ease.

Keep your infant out of the sun until his or her sunburn heals. Moreover, hydration is essential for your baby’s recovery process. Outfit them in skin-friendly fabrics and layers that will not irritate their skin. Also, do not pop any emerging blisters, which could cause skin damage and scarring.

When to Seek Medical Attention for a Baby Sunburn

If your child is younger than one year old and has a sunburn, you should contact his or her doctor. In addition, inform your physician if they develop blisters, feel weak or ill, complain of eye pain, or have a burn that appears infected. Infected burn symptoms include pus drainage, angry red streaks, and worsening beyond 48 hours. You should call 911 if your child faints, is disoriented or unable to stand, or if you have trouble awakening them, even if this occurs very seldom.

Avoiding Sunburn in Babies

The sunburn symptoms of discomfort, blistering, and peeling are frequently accompanied by fussiness and tears. Sunburns raise the chance of skin cancer, and the majority of a person’s lifelong solar damage is done by age 18, according to Adena Rosenblatt, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric dermatologist from The University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.

Avoid exposing your newborn to direct sunlight as much as possible, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are at their strongest. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends administering sunscreen to infants older than six months and spot-applying it to infants younger than six months who must be exposed to the sun.

The most effective sunscreens are mineral-based physical sunscreens, including zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active components. Use sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or perspiring, and determine whether any of your infant’s medications boost their sun sensitivity (for example, some antibiotics do).

When going outside, it is also beneficial to outfit babies in sun-protective gear, such as lightweight slacks, long-sleeved shirts, and wide-brimmed hats. Seek shade wherever feasible in order to enjoy the outdoors without being exposed to the sun’s harmful rays.


Sun protection consists of avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours, wearing sunscreen, and keeping in the shade. These actions are crucial for the skin health of your infant. Even still, despite your best intentions, sometimes sunburns happen. Do not berate yourself. Simply do all you can to comfort your baby’s delicate skin and seek to safeguard your child from the sun in the future.

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