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5 natural ways to treat your child's sunburn (using household ingredients)

Posted May 4

Sunburns can be painful, especially for kids, but you can help alleviate their pain using these common household ingredients. (Deseret Photo)

It's not uncommon for kids to get sunburned. They love playing outside and don't think to put on suncreen or to cover up. But sunburns are painful. It leaves skin red, with a burning sensation and itching. More severe sunburns can blister and be accompanied by fever, headache and chills, according to WebMD.

Parents can use ingredients in their pantry to help soothe their child's sunburns and treat the symptoms. Try these remedies out:

1. Freshly brewed tea

The uncomfortable burning sensation caused by a sunburn can be soothed with freshly brewed tea. Tea, specifically green and black tea, contain tannins and antioxidants which absorbs the heat caused by sunburns.

To use, let the brewed tea cool down to room temperature. Apply to affected areas using a washcloth before letting the skin dry. Then rinse affected areas with cool water. You can also use wet tea bags for instant relief. Or pour freshly brewed tea into cool bath water for a refreshing soak.

2. Pulverized oatmeal

Oats are known to be a good antioxidant. This is why most skin care creams and soaps contain oats to make skin smooth and radiant. But did you know that oats also have anti-inflammatory properties which make it ideal for treating sunburns?

Oatmeal provides an instant relief from itching. Simply add at least a cup of finely ground oatmeal to your bath water and soak in it for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. You can also mix oatmeal with milk and honey to make a paste and apply to affected areas.

3. Baking soda

Similar with oatmeal, soaking in bath water with a ½ tablespoon baking soda can relieve burning sensations, itching and help minimize peeling. You can also dissolve baking soda into water and apply it to affected areas using a washcloth or cotton balls.

You can also use cornstarch if you prefer.

4. Lavender and coconut oil

A sunburn can dry the skin, so rehydrating with coconut oil (mixed with a little lavender oil) can help. Coconut oil alone has Lauric acid, which promotes cell growth and repair. It also has microbial properties which can help in healing according to WebMD. On the other hand, lavender oil is known to bring a soothing effect to all skin problems. It also has anti-inflammatory properties for pain relief.

Dab a small amount of the mixture to the affected area for a soothing sunburn cream.

5. Honey

Honey has been used as a topical remedy for different types of skin problems since the ancient times. "Studies suggest it may work better than some antibiotic creams at speeding up healing, reducing infection, and minimizing pain," says Kathi Kemper, M.D.

Honey works as an antibiotic which can prevent infection and speed up healing. It can be applied directly to affected areas or it mixed with other household remedies (like oatmeal or baking soda) to create a paste or cream for topical application.

Reminders

The remedies mentioned above are generally ideal for children, but it is still important that you know what’s best for your kids. Make sure that your child is not allergic to any of these ingredients before trying out these household remedies.

Do you part to help prevent sunburns in the first place. Use sunscreen, and let your children play outside while wearing long sleeves and a hat. Limit their time outside in the afternoon, where the sun is the strongest. As much as you want to protect your kids from the harmful effect of the sun, you can’t watch them all the time. That's why it is very important for parents to know alternative remedies for sunburn relief.

Next time your kids have a sunburn, try these simple and easy household solutions.

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