While a bit too much sun is not uncommon during warm weather, a severe sunburn can have serious medical repercussions. Always wear skin protection and take breaks in the shade on hot days and know the signs of a serious issue. Severe sunburns can have debilitating medical repercussions.
When should you seek medical attention for your child's sunburn?
Your child has a fever. A slight fever may not be alarming but keep an eye on it. A high fever, 100-degrees or higher, is cause for a visit to the ER.
Your child is in pain. Certainly, any type of sunburn is uncomfortable, but if your child is in pain, it could merit a trip to the hospital. You can provide sunburn relief with cool baths and aloe vera, but if the burn is severe, a physician will prescribe topical ointments that will make your child more comfortable
They are vomiting. If your child is sunburned and begins vomiting, seek medical attention immediately before they become dehydrated.
You see signs of infection. With a second or third-degree sunburn, blisters are usually present. Watch for any signs of infection around the blisters, including swelling, skin discoloration, or darkening. If you see signs of an issue, call your physician.
Your child is lethargic. If your child seems listless, more tired than usual, and lacks an appetite after a day of being exposed to the sun, contact your physician. These could be signs of dehydration which will only get worse without fluids immediately.
They are having vision difficulty. It is not unusual to see spots or have trouble seeing after being in the sun and going inside or entering a dim area. If your child has issues with their vision an hour after going inside or getting out of the sun, seek medical attention immediately. Children should always wear protective eyewear when spending time outside or risk long-term damage to their eyes.
Know that heat-stroke and dehydration can also be hazards of extreme-sun. Make sure to provide shade intermittently and offer cool drinks frequently when spending any time outdoors in summer heat. It is not uncommon to develop a headache with both a sunburn and dehydration; drinking plenty of fluids can help provide relief.
If you observe any of these signs after a day spent outside and a little too much sun, seek medical attention at clinics like Port City Pediatrics. Take care to prevent sunburn and stay safe when the temperatures rise.