Has your child been sunburnt? You must do this

Warm weather, plenty of sun, endless playing outside and cooling off with ice cream. Summer is a real party for children and that makes it easy to get burned by the bright sun. What are you doing then?

The sun power in the Netherlands is between 4 and 7 in the summer months. From sun power 7 to 8, the skin burns after ten minutes. Without (sufficient) protection, things can quickly go wrong. What to do if your child is sunburnt?

Skin burn in children

Earlier research by TNS Nipo on behalf of the Dutch Cancer Society showed that 90 percent of parents say they do everything they can to prevent their children from getting burned.

Nevertheless, almost one in seven Dutch children between the ages of 4 and 11 has had a severely sunburned skin. Bright red skin, sometimes even with blisters. Half of the parents do not always remember to apply sun cream to their child, and a quarter of all parents do not carry sunscreen with them when they are out with the children in the summer.

Increased risk of skin cancer

Burning of the skin in children can have very serious consequences. After all, children’s skin is extra vulnerable and a sunburn gives twice the risk of skin cancer later in life. Children who sunburn before the age of eighteen are twice as likely to develop skin cancer later on, something that 43 percent of mothers and 63 percent of fathers don’t know.

UV facts

  • Two out of three Dutch people do not know that you can also burn on a cloudy day. Clouds transmit eighty percent of UV radiation. On a cloudy day, only 15 percent use sunscreen.
  • More than 35 percent do not know that UV radiation also affects the skin behind glass.
  • 57 percent do not know that you should apply sunscreen well before going into the sun. After all, it takes half an hour for sunscreen to protect.
  • Almost half (46%) do not know that the skin creates scars deep in the skin every time the skin burns. This increases the risk of getting skin cancer.

What to do if your child has been burned?

It is good to cool the burned skin, for example by placing a damp cloth on the skin. Do not rub this at all, because it hurts. Also, the cloth should not be too cold to prevent shivering.

Gently dry the skin and lubricate it with a moisturizer or special one aftersun with cooling and caring ingredients, such as aloe vera. Tight clothes are not comfortable now, so let your child wear loose, cotton clothes. Also let your child drink plenty of water.

Severe sunburn

With a severe sunburn, the skin can not only turn red, but blisters and swelling can also occur. Your child may also experience headaches, fever, dizziness, chills, vomiting and heart palpitations. In that case, always consult a doctor.

It is therefore important that your child stays out of the sun for a few days anyway, so that the skin can recover calmly. Try to make it clear to your child that he should not scratch the spots in case of blisters, in order to prevent infections.

Read also – Applying sunscreen to a child: these are the do’s and don’ts

Prevent sunburn

The KWF has listed the four most important sun tips for children.

  1. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30.
  2. Apply every two hours and apply generously: use at least seven (!) teaspoons.

  3. Seek shade between 12 and 3 p.m. when the sun is most damaging.
  4. Let children play in the sun with sunglasses or caps.

‘Smear, clothes, keep out’

The motto of the KWF is: “Smear, clothes, keep out”. Make rubbing in your child part of the routine and do this in the morning after brushing your teeth and before getting dressed, for example. This way you don’t forget spots and edges that half disappear under clothing and you give the sunscreen enough time to absorb.

It is also wise to let your child play and swim in UV-resistant clothing and swimsuits. Keep in mind that these packages really do not let the sun through. When the package is removed, the skin underneath is more sensitive to burning than skin that has already been in contact with the sun.

Source: KWF & Melanoma Foundation

Wondering what is the best way to rub your child? With these creams, your offspring will get through the summer well protected.

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