2. Shun Sunburn
Summer is all about fun in the sun, but with that comes the risk of sunburn. “The risk of malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, really goes up if you have a significant number of sunburns in your first decade of life,” says Mancini.
Prevent it: At least 20 minutes before going outdoors, apply an ounce of sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 to your toddler’s skin, says Amy Guiot, MD, an adjunct instructor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Reapply according to the label’s instructions, as well as after your toddler goes swimming (even if the product is labeled “waterproof”). Put a hat with a wide rim and sunglasses on your tot while outdoors, and keep him in the shade between peak sun hours: 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can also buy clothes with sun protection, such as the ones at sungrubbies.com.
Treat it: Avoiding sunburn is critical. But if you miss a spot with the sunscreen, the pain of first-degree sunburn (redness only) and second-degree sunburn (blistering) can be treated with a cool, moist compress, suggests Mancini. You can also apply a topical anesthetic lotion or calamine lotion, and administer children’s acetaminophen, according to the label’s instructions. If there’s blistering, apply a bland antibiotic ointment like Polysporin or Bacitracin to prevent infection, and cover the area with bandages, changing them daily, until it’s healed.
See your pediatrician if… you see large or deep blistering, which is evidence of a third-degree burn that needs immediate attention from a physician. A fever, nausea, vomiting or lethargy can point to sun poisoning.