Simple sunburn soothers

Take the sting out of sunburn with these natural remedies - they're cheap, you'll probably already have them at home, and they're ideal if you prefer to avoid using topical anaesthetics on your child's skin. If your child is severely burnt and complains of feeling ill, or if blisters develop, call your doctor for advice or take the child to A&E.

Milk The proteins in milk are fantastically soothing for burns of any kind. Mix one part milk with four parts water and a handful of ice cubes. Soak a clean flannel with the liquid and hold it against the burnt skin for 15-20 minutes.

Yogurt Gently pat cold natural yogurt onto the burnt skin, leave until it warms up, then gently rinse and reapply more cold yogurt as needed.

Tea Brew a pot of black, green or chamomile tea and allow it to cool completely before chilling in the fridge. When the tea is cold, soak a clean flannel with it and apply to the burn. Teabags soaked in iced water are also helpful for soothing burned cheeks.

Oats Place a mugful of oats into the centre of a muslin (or other loose-weave fabric) and run cold water through it into a bowl. Squeeze the muslin to remove as much liquid as possible, then soak a clean flannel with the water in the bowl and apply as needed.

Cornflour Mix spoonfuls of cornflour with a little water until a runny paste forms, then apply to the burn.

Vinegar Run a bath of tepid water, pour in around half a mugful of apple cider vinegar, then allow your child to gently lie in the water. Alternatively, make up a solution of half water/half apple cider vinegar, soak with clean flannels and drape them over the burns.

Frozen vegetables Wrap a bag of frozen peas or sweetcorn in a tea towel, then hold it against the burn.

Tomatoes Squeeze tomatoes through a sieve to collect the juice, then soak up the juice with a clean flannel and apply it to the burn.

Related links

Sun safety for children: what are the real risks of sun exposure?
Having trouble getting the right balance of activities and free time for your kids? Use the pick and choose technique.
Going green! How your family can help the planet!

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