Kids generally face several common issues, and sun poisoning is among them. Sun poisoning occurs when the skin is overexposed to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation of the sun or a tanning bed. It can cause severe irritation on the skin, which may lead to redness, itching, inflammation, blisters, and pain in some cases. In more serious cases it can also cause fever and chills.

With proper treatment and prevention measures, however, sun poisoning can be avoided or minimized. It’s important for parents to recognize the signs of sun poisoning in their children so they can take action immediately if needed.

Knowing what symptoms to look out for will help parents provide better care for their kids during the summer months or any other time when they are exposed to too much sunshine. In this article, let’s discuss the common symptoms of sun poisoning in kids and how to treat it.

What exactly is sun poisoning?

Similar to how sunburns occur, sun poisoning is caused by overexposure to the UV rays of the sun or a tanning bed. It mostly affects children aged 6-15 and can happen even if they are wearing sunscreen. The symptoms can range from minor to severe, depending on how long they have been exposed.

It starts with a red rash on the affected area of the skin, which may be accompanied by itching and burning sensations. In more serious cases, blisters may form which can cause extreme discomfort and pain. Other symptoms may include fever, chills, nausea, and even dizziness or confusion.

It is important to note that these symptoms usually start showing a few hours after exposure and can last for several days.

Common symptoms of sun poisoning:

Tiredness, drowsiness, or fatigue:

Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause tiredness and drowsiness, which is usually accompanied by a feeling of exhaustion. Moreover, it can also cause dehydration and result in headaches, dizziness, or even confusion. Kids may feel lightheaded or have difficulty concentrating.

Nausea and vomiting:

Another common symptom of sun poisoning is nausea and vomiting. This can be caused by dehydration, which may arise from overexposure to the sun or heat. Since the body is unable to regulate its temperature when exposed to extreme heat, it may cause diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration.

Swelling, redness, and itching:

These symptoms are usually the first signs of sun poisoning in kids. The affected area of the skin usually becomes red and swollen, with a burning or itching sensation. In some cases, blisters may form which can be very painful. Moreover, children may also experience skin peeling in the affected area.


Fever is another symptom of sun poisoning, and it can be accompanied by chills or sweating. It is important to note that fever is a sign of infection, and if it persists for more than 24 hours, medical attention is necessary. The fever may be accompanied by extreme fatigue and body aches.


Dizziness is caused by dehydration, and it can cause the child to feel weak or lightheaded. It is important to keep an eye on your child if they are experiencing dizziness, as it can be a sign of heat exhaustion or sunstroke. The dizziness can last for several hours and may worsen with time.

Treating sun poisoning in kids:

Most cases of sun poisoning can be treated with home remedies, such as using cold compresses or taking a cool bath to soothe the skin. Ointments containing aloe vera may also help reduce the discomfort caused by blisters. Applying a moisturizing cream may also help the skin heal faster.

It is important to keep the affected area covered with loose clothing, as this will help reduce the itching and burning sensations. Drinking plenty of fluids is also essential to avoid dehydration and replenish electrolytes lost due to excessive sweating.

If the symptoms persist or worsen, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications to treat the infection and help reduce the pain. Below are some tips to help prevent sun poisoning in kids:

Limit their exposure to the sun:

It is important to limit your child’s exposure to direct sunlight, especially during peak hours, usually between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply it every two hours.

Cover up:

Make sure your child is wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing to protect them from the sun’s rays. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can also provide extra protection. Moreover, make sure to provide plenty of shade when outdoors.

Stay hydrated:

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of sun poisoning, so it is important to ensure your child drinks plenty of fluids. Water and electrolyte-rich beverages are best as they help replenish lost fluids. Moreover, let them drink water at a slow pace because drinking too much at once can cause nausea and vomiting.

Monitor for symptoms:

Pay attention to any changes in your child’s behavior or skin, as these could be signs of sun poisoning. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical help as soon as possible. As kids are very sensitive to the sun, it is important to take extra care when spending time outdoors.

Additional care:

Make sure they are wearing appropriate clothing, staying hydrated, and using sunscreen when needed to help protect them from the sun’s harmful rays. With prompt treatment and prevention, sun poisoning can be avoided.

Wrapping up!

Sun poisoning can be prevented by limiting exposure to direct sunlight, especially during peak hours. Kids should always wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors, and parents should keep an eye on their children to make sure they don’t overheat.

In conclusion, sun poisoning can have serious consequences if not treated properly. It is important to be aware of the common symptoms and possible treatments for this condition. Taking preventive measures and seeking medical help if symptoms persist can ensure that your child doesn’t suffer from sun poisoning in the future.



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