2 Your Health: Too much sun can make kids sick

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Kids love to have fun in the summer sun but sometimes it can be too much of a good thing.

If kids aren’t protected from the sun’s rays, they could get sunburned – or worse – get sun poisoning.Severe sunburn = sun poisoning

A severe sunburn, also called sun poisoning, will not only leave a child’s skin red, warm and painful but it can make a child physically ill, said Lisa Diard, M.D., a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

“The child might experience some fever, body aches, nausea, vomiting and they just don’t feel well,” said Dr. Diard.

Sun poisoning can also lead to dehydration and serious cases may require a hospital stay, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.Call a doctor when symptoms arise

Dr. Diard advised parents to call their pediatrician when a child is experiencing symptoms of severe sunburn because it must be treated like other kinds of serious burns.

She said cool compresses and baths may help and it’s important to keep burned skin protected and out of the sun, as heat and sunlight can cause more blistering and additional damage.Some medication increases burn risk

Dr. Diard said parents should keep in mind that certain medications may make a child’s skin more sensitive to the sun, putting them at greater risk for sunburn, including:

  • Acne medicines
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-depressants

She suggested parents always check with a doctor or pharmacist and ask if the medication may cause a problem in the sun.Prevention is best

Dr. Diard added that children should be well protected from the sun because most damage from the sun is done in childhood.

She shared the following valuable sun protection reminders.

  • Avoid peak sun hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Use broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every two hours

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