First Aid For Baby Sunburn And Heat Stroke

why is baby sunburn an emergency


Babies and young children are especially prone to sunburns and heat stroke because of their delicate skin and the fact they can’t regulate their body temperatures very well. 

If your child has been in the sun too long, it’s important to take immediate action to protect their health. 

This blog post will cover the signs, symptoms, and first aid you should be aware of when caring for a baby or small child with a sunburn or heat stroke. 

From caring for blisters to recognizing severe cases, these tips will help keep your little one safe.


What to do if your baby is sunburned?

If your baby has a sunburn, it is important to act quickly to help soothe their skin and prevent further damage. Here are some tips on what to do:

sunburn baby
  • Apply a cool compress or cool bath: This will help reduce swelling and redness.
  • Give your baby ibuprofen or paracetamol for pain relief if needed.
  • Apply a mild waterbased moisturiser suitable for babies, to the affected area to help soothe the skin.
  • Make sure your baby stays hydrated by giving them plenty of fluids to drink.
  • If the sunburn is severe, blistering, or covers a large area of the body, seek medical attention immediately.

When should I take my baby to the hospital for sunburn?

When should I take my baby to the hospital for sunburn?

If your baby has any of the following symptoms, they should be taken to the hospital immediately:

baby sunburn

How do you treat sunburn on a baby?

To treat a baby’s sunburn, you should:

  • Apply a cool, wet cloth to the affected area.
  • Give the baby ibuprofen or paracetamol for pain relief.
  • Apply a mild water based moisturiser suitable for babies.
  • Make sure the baby stays hydrated by giving them plenty of fluids to drink.

If the sunburn is severe or if the baby has any symptoms of heat stroke, such as a high body temperature, confusion, or vomiting, then you should take them to the hospital immediately.

How long does sunburn last on a baby?

Most sunburns will heal within a week. However, if your baby has blisters or is in pain, you should seek medical attention. In the meantime, you can help soothe your baby’s sunburn with cool compresses and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relif.

baby sunburn face

What happens if a baby gets a mild sunburn?

A baby’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than an adult’s, so it’s important to take care if your little one gets a sunburn. If the sunburn is mild, you can treat it at home with some simple self-care measures.

However, if the sunburn is more severe, you should seek medical attention.

Mild sunburns usually cause redness, pain, and warmth in the affected area. You can relieve these symptoms by applying a cool compress to the sunburned area.

You can also take your baby for a cool bath or shower to help ease the discomfort. It’s best not to use soap, but if you do, be sure to use gentle soap and avoid scrubbing the sunburned skin.

sunburn babies

You can also apply a mild moisturising water based cream, suitable for babies, to help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. 

Look for products that are water based with minimal ingredients. Apply the cream liberally to the sunburned area and reapply as needed.


If your child has a mild sunburn, monitor them closely for signs of dehydration.

 Dehydration is a common complication of sunburn and can occur when the body loses too much fluid through sweating or vomiting. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, dark urine, fatigue, and dizziness

If you notice any of these signs, give your child plenty of fluids to drink and seek medical attention if they don’t improve within a short priod of time.

sun stroke baby

Does breastmilk help sunburn?

It is not recommended to put breastmilk on a sunburn. The milk could further irritate the skin and slow the healing process.

What instantly soothes sunburn?

There are a few things you can do to instantly soothe sunburn:


What should you not put on sunburn?

There are several things you should not put on a sunburn, as they can further irritate the skin or even cause an allergic reaction. These include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Vaseline
  • Butter
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Alcohol wipes
fever with baby

Causes of sunburn or heat stroke in babies

There are many causes of sunburn or heat stroke in babies, but the most common cause is exposure to the sun. 

Babies are very sensitive to the sun’s rays and can burn easily. Other causes of sunburn or heat stroke in babies include being in a hot environment for too long, not drinking enough fluids, and not wearing appropriate clothing.

How to prevent sunburn or heat stroke in babies

To prevent sunburn or heat stroke in babies, be sure to:


  • Dress them in loose, breathable clothing that covers their skin.
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to exposed skin, including their face, neck, and hands. 
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more often if they’re swimming or sweating.
baby sunburn skin
  • Keep them in the shade as much as possible, especially between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Give them plenty of fluids to drink to avoid dehydration.

If you suspect your baby has sunburn or heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately.

First aid for sunburn or heat stroke in babies

If your baby has sunburn or heat stroke, it is important to act quickly. Here are some tips on how to provide first aid:


  • Take your baby out of the sun and into a cool, shady area.
  • Apply a cool compress to the affected areas. You can use a cool, damp cloth or towel
  • Give your baby plenty of fluids to drink, such as water or Hydrolyte
baby in sun
  • If your baby is older than 6 months, you can give them ibuprofen or paracetamol for pain relief. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the packaging if your child is under 6 months or talk to a pharmacist.
  • Call your doctor if you see signs of dehydration, such as decreased urination, dry mouth, or excessive thirst. 
  • You should also call the doctor if your baby’s sunburn or heat stroke does not improve within the day.

When to see a doctor for sunburn or heat stroke in babies

If your baby has a sunburn or heat stroke, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Sunburn can cause serious skin damage, and heat stroke can be life-threatening.

If your baby is sunburnt or spend a lot of time in the sun or a hot environment and becomes lethargic, has a fever or is in pain, they need to be assessed by a medical professional.

baby burnt skin


Taking care of our little ones is so important, especially in hot weather. 

Keeping a baby cool and hydrated during the summer months can prevent sunburn or heat stroke, but if it does happen then taking the right first aid steps are essential to keep your little one safe. 

We hope this article has given you an insight into how to treat both sunburn and heat strokes should they occur so that you know what to do if the unfortunate situation arises. 

By being prepared with the knowledge of first aid techniques, you can ensure that your baby remains comfortable and healthy throughout the summer months.

baby burnt skin sun

Baby First aid course

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