Sunburns still a threat to kids as summer winds down - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Sunburns still a threat to kids as summer winds down

(Source: Raycom) (Source: Raycom)

While summer is winding down, the intensity of the sun is still at its peak.

That means your child still runs the risk of developing a sunburn.

Children love to play outside, but the younger ones can get into trouble with direct sun exposure.

National statistics indicate some parents are not taking the sun seriously enough with regard to their small babies.

"Their skin layers are thinner, and it allows them to get sunburned," said Dr. Melissa Young-Harkins of Kids Town Pediatrics.

Older children generally wear sunscreen and can freely move in and out of the shade.

"But if you have a toddler or an infant, they are more stabilized and don't move without assistance," said Dr. Young-Harkins. "Therefore, they have more direct contact with the sun."

That prolonged exposure can cause major damage - to all skin types.

"Anyone of color can get a sunburn. You think because you have more melanin, of the cells that cause coloring or pigmentation in the body - that you're more protected. But that's a fallacy," she warned. "Anyone, olive skin tone or darker can get a sunburn. I've had one."

Direct exposure to the sun can cause things like melanoma, skin cancers, and premature aging.

If your child does get burned, there are remedies you can take at home.

"It would behoove you to make sure there is no low-grade temperature, intense pain - which we can give comfort measures such as Tylenol," she said. "Warm or tepid cloths to the face - no butter, no oil, because that intensifies the heat that is under the skin."

Cool creams or lotions may help, or it may be time to go to the doctor.

"Take the child to the doctor if you find the child is irritable, not feeding well, and of course a high-grade temperature."

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