First Aid Tip

With school out for summer it can be easy to underestimate the strength of the sun when you’re outside. The wind and getting wet, such as going in and out of the sea, may cool your skin, so you don’t realise you’re getting burnt.

You should always be aware of the risk of sunburn if you’re outside in strong sunshine, and look out for your skin getting hot. Avoid the Belfast Burn!

What to do if you’re sunburnt

If your child has sunburn, you should get out of the sun as soon as possible – head indoors or into a shady area.

You can usually treat mild sunburn at home, although there are some circumstances where you should get medical advice.

The following advice may help relieve your symptoms until your skin heals:

  • Cool the skin by having a cool bath or shower, sponging it with cold water, or holding a cold flannel to it.
  • Use lotions containing aloe vera to soothe and moisturise your skin.
  • Applying over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream for a few days may help reduce the inflammation.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to cool you down and prevent dehydration.
  • Take painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, to relieve any pain (but don’t give aspirin to children under 16).
  • Try to avoid all sunlight, including through windows, by covering up the affected areas of skin until it’s fully healed.

When to get medical advice:

  • Contact your GP if you feel unwell or you’re concerned about sunburn, particularly if you’re burnt over a large area or have any of the more severe symptoms listed below.
  • You should also see your GP if a young child or baby has sunburn as their skin is particularly sensitive.
  • Signs of severe sunburn can include:
    blistering or swelling of the skin
    chills
    a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
    dizziness, headaches and feeling sick – symptoms of heat exhaustion

Proparamedics deliver a range of First Aid training courses. If you would like to learn more about the courses we offer please get in touch.

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