Sunburn sucks. Whether you were so busy covering your kids in sunscreen that you skipped your own shoulders or the kids swam off their own sun protection at day camp and forgot to reapply, now all you want is a little first aid relief. Since we know you know already know the dangers of unprotected sun exposure, we're not gonna lecture. We're here to help! Read on for some soothing home remedies and kids first aid that will help you keep your cool.
Take Pain Reliever for Sunburn
For intense sunburn discomfort, head straight to the first aid cabinet for pain reliever. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen will lessen the pain and reduce the inflammation of the skin. Low-dose hydrocortisone creams (.5-1 percent) are also effective at speeding the healing and reducing your kids' uncomfortable burning sensation.
Apply Aloe Vera to Sunburn
Aloe vera is most families' go-to moisturizer after a sunburn for a reason: It works! You can buy the soothing lotion at the drugstore, sure, but a natural alternative is to buy a live aloe vera plant at the start of each summer. When your kids need a little aloe first aid, just break off a leaf and squeeze fresh, natural aloe vera gel out of the plant.
Rub Vitamin E Oil on Sunburn
Rubbing vitamin E oil on skin that has seen too much sun is another great first aid trick. Not only does it hydrate your kid's burn to prevent peeling, it will prevent inflammation and keep your sunburn from getting worse. Just be sure not to apply vitamin E oil before going in the sun—doing so can actually increase sun damage. Oral vitamin E supplements can also help in the days after a sunburn, and they're fine to take before heading back out into the sun.
Cool Sunburn in a Baking Soda Bath
It's not just for deodorizing your fridge or baking cookies! Baking soda is also a great first aid remedy for a stinging mild-to-moderate sunburn. Just pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into cool bath water and soak for 20 minutes. Afterward, gingerly pat kids' skin dry with a towel and rub in your soothing lotion of choice.
Apply Cold Tea Bags to Sunburned Skin
Is your fabulous face swollen from too much sun exposure? You can bring that swelling down and relieve the burn in more of a spa style than a first aid remedy. Save used black tea bags in the fridge and place them on your eyelids, cheekbones, forehead ... wherever you're especially burned. The caffeine in the tea will reduce the swelling, and the cold compresses will be soothing. (Brings a whole new meaning to "sun tea," doesn't it?)
Make a Soothing Sunburn Spritzer
Make a soothing and super-cheap sunburn relief first aid tonic by mixing 10 drops of lavender essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Stash this spritzer in your purse to hydrate and soothe your skin throughout the day, or on your bedside table for nighttime relief. (Bonus: The scent of lavender is relaxing, especially for kids before bed.)
Put Yogurt or Milk on a Sunburn
You've heard that milk "does a body good," but did you know that dairy products are good for the outside of sunburned bodies? They're extremely mild, so they're perfect for treating sunburned kids in need of first aid. Just slather some plain yogurt directly on the sunburn or pour a few cups of milk in a cool bath. (Frozen yogurt and ice cream work, too, but keeping your kid from eating the "medicine" might require too much restraint!)
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