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What do I need to know about caring for someone with a sunburn?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

If you are caring for someone with a sunburn, like a small child, examine the burn to see if it is relatively minor or in need of medical attention. For instance, if your child is burned over much of the body or the burn is blistering, then watch for signs of complications, like fever, nausea, chills, trouble breathing, dizziness, and thirst. If any of these symptoms are present, see your doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, try to make your child comfortable by applying cold washcloths to the skin or having your child take a cold bath. Rub a moisturizing cream on the area and, if there's pain, you may give acetaminophen or ibuprofen according to directions. Consult your doctor about giving a very young child pain relievers, though, for accurate dosing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.