Sunburn is caused by too much exposure to the sun or a sun lamp. At high altitudes, people can get sunburnt even when it’s cloudy or snowing.

Some medicines can trigger severe sensitivity to sunlight. Sunburn can also be caused by exposure to radioactivity, though this is extremely rare.

The best way to avoid getting sunburn is to avoid too much exposure to the sun, by covering up with clothing or sun cream.

Most sunburn is not serious. In severe cases though, the skin can turn lobster red in colour and blister.

Watch our video - Treating sunburn

What to look for - Sunburn

These are the three things to look for:

  1. 1. Reddened skin
  2. 2. Pain in the area of the burn
  3. 3. Blistering

What you need to do - Sunburn

• First, cover their skin with lightweight clothing and move them out of the sun and into the shade, or indoors if possible.

• Encourage them to keep taking sips of cold water.

• Cool the skin by sponging it gently with cool water, or by soaking the sore skin in a cold bath or shower for no more than ten minutes. Repeat this if it helps ease soreness.

• If the burn doesn't blister, then it is mild. Apply calamine lotion or after-sun lotion to help soothe the skin.

• If the burn blisters or there is other skin damage, then it is severe and they’ll need to see a doctor.

• Also watch out for and treat symptoms of heat exhaustion or heatstroke, which can be life threatening. 

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