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Sunburn symptoms in babies - The best way to treat your baby's sunburn at home

Sunburn from a day on the beach.
baby sunburn symptoms


The problem with sunburn symptoms in babies is that they show only a few hours after being exposed to the sun.

What can you do if after a nice day at the beach or at the pool you come home and your baby's skin start showing the signs of a sunburn .

Despite all your care and applying sunscreen baby's skin is red and feels hot.

Sunburn is an inflammation of the skin that develops in response to exposure to (UV) radiation from the sun. Be very careful with your baby's skin because even on a cloudy day there is enough UV radiation in the air to get a sunburn.


What are sunburn symptoms in babies?


  • The skin of the baby is pink or red and feels hot. The skin turning red is an inflammatory response of the body's immune system when there is damage to the skin. the skin feels hot because of the enlarged blood vessels near the skin's surface.
  • Sunburn blisters. Blistering means that the skin is completely damaged. Sunburn blisters are the most difficult type of blisters because they are often large and more prone to infection.
  • Sunburn and swelling. Oedema is observable swelling from fluid accumulation in body tissues.
  • A sunburn itch is an uncomfortable irritation of the skin that causes a desire to scratch the affected area. But itching is also part of the healing process.
  • Damage to the skin caused by harmful UV radiation can be very painful.
  • Symptoms of a bad sunburn. are fever, chills and naussea. Severe skin blistering can lead to dehydration and infection.



What to do when your baby shows sunburn symptoms?

First aid for sunburn.

Protect babies from sunburn symptoms
Watch out for symptoms of sunburn in babies
  • Apply cool compresses to the painful area. Regularly cool showers help to take down the temperature when your baby has a fever.
  • You can give Calpol or Iboprufen for pain relief.
  • To stop the itching use calamine ointment or aloe vera. If you put the bottle in the fridge half an hour before applying the lotion it gives an extra cooling effect. Adding some backing soda or oatmeal to baby's bath water may give some relief. Don't give antihistamine to babies under 6 months of age before first consulting your doctor.
  • Give extra of fluid to your child to prevent dehydration.

In most cases your baby's sunburn symptoms can be easily treated with these home remedies for sunburn. But with bad sunburns it is advisable to seek medical help.

Never use butter, lard, margarine, vitamin E, petroleum jelly, honey, warm water, tea bags, or sunburn anesthetic sprays on sunburned skin.


When to ring for the doctor?

  • If large areas of the infants body are burned.
  • If there are blisters and sores.
  • When baby gets a fever.
  • If your baby starts sweating, vomiting or faints.
  • If baby shows signs of dehydration.

The first signs of dehydration are cracked lips, dry mouth and tongue and no wet diaper for 6 hours or more. Other signs are sunken eyes, no tears and a sunken fontanel (soft spot on baby's scalp).


Peeling is the body's way to get rid of the damaged cells. Although the skin renews itself some damage may remain. This damage to the skin increases the risk of skin cancer. That is why it so important that we and our children don't get sunburned.

Even if you protect baby form the sun sometimes hot weather may cause a heat rash. Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by too much sweating in hot and humid weather. Read more about treating heat rash in babies.

Read also about

The top 10 safest sunscreens for babies.

Recommendations for infant sun protection, the use of sunscreen, sun protective clothing for on the beach and around the swimming pool.



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