One of the hazards of summer is sunburn. Whether while on vacation at the beach or just sitting by your apartment complex’s pool, sunburn is always a risk – it can also be easily prevented with sunscreen. Now that summer break has arrived, I am constantly reminding my kids to apply sunscreen before they head outdoors. Unfortunately, I’m not always around to make sure they are listening. On Saturday, while I was out, my son decided to spend all day in the backyard, swimming in the pool. When I got home and saw pink shoulders, I asked him when he last applied his sunscreen. His response … I forgot. My husband, who was home with the kids at the time, also claimed this mysterious loss of memory.
The first thing I did (after a firm reminder to both of them about where the sunscreen is kept and how it won’t work if it isn’t used) was dab vinegar to my son’s shoulders. Vinegar has many great uses, and lessening the sting of sunburn is just one of them. Later, after an ibuprofen and lots of complaining (his and mine), I told him to soak in a tea bath. He thought this was funny and asked if he could add slices of lemon. (Um, no.) Tea is also great at relieving sunburn – it was my go-to trick living in Florida and spending way too much time in the sun myself as a teenager (I never listened to my mother, either).
Since then, we’ve been applying aloe to his shoulders regularly and I’ve been lecturing everyone in the house (okay, not the dogs, but they can get sunburns too) on the importance of always using sunscreen, even if you are just in the back yard. As this is my son’s first real sunburn, I think he is listening. But as the burn fades into a tan and the painful sting becomes a distant memory, I may stock up on vinegar, tea, and baking soda … just in case.