Can Sunburn Cause Fever?: The Connection Between Sunburn & Fever in Kids


Mother applying sunscreen to daughter

Many parents associate fevers with colds and the flu, but there are other things that can cause them in children as well. One example is sunburn, which is a connection worth exploring now that the weather is warming up and kids are spending more time outdoors and in the sunshine.

This article will address the question, “Can sunburn cause fever?” and describe why sunburns can result in an elevated body temperature in children. It will also describe safe and effective sunburn fever treatments and prevention tips for keeping kids safe while outside playing on sunny days. Sunburn protection is so important at every age!

Can Sunburn Cause Fever?

Yes, one of the common symptoms of sunburn is fever, and this is especially common in children who are naturally prone to frequent fevers. Even though a sunburn is on the surface of the skin, it can cause inflammation, and inflammation is a leading cause of fever. Sunburns can also cause infections on the skin, and the body is more prone to fever when an infection is present. Sunburns that cause fevers are typically severe sunburns that have multiple symptoms and cause extreme discomfort for children. Sunburn and fever is a concerning combination that needs to be monitored closely in children.

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Sunburn Fever Symptoms

In addition to fever, a sunburn can cause various symptoms in children. Visibly on the skin, it is often easy to see redness and swelling on the affected area. The skin may be tender to the touch, develop blisters, and peel a few days after the sunburn affects the skin. But internally, a sunburn can also cause a fever, chills, and nausea. Sun poisoning is the common term used to describe sunburns that result in these types of internal symptoms. If the symptom of fever is present after a sunburn and alongside signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration, it is advised to call a pediatrician for advice.

Sunburn Fever Treatment for Kids

At-home sunburn fever treatment options include using cool cloths (but not ice) to soothe burned areas of skin and applying cooling aloe vera lotion as well. To help control the symptom of fever, PediaCare’s Fever Relief is recommended for children as young as two years old. Other home remedies for sunburn fever treatment include honey, calendula, yogurt, and plenty of water to keep little ones hydrated.

Sunburn Prevention Tips

Sunscreen is a parent’s best friend when it comes to playtime in the outdoors, and kids should always wear at least SPF 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen on a child about 30 minutes before going outdoors for the best protection. It is also a good idea to minimize kids’ exposure to direct sunlight between the hours of 10am and 4pm on sunny days. Also, dress children in layered clothing, hats, and sunglasses to protect their sensitive skin while outdoors. Skin damage and the risk of fever due to the sun can occur in just 15 minutes, and the damage can occur even when the clouds are out. Don’t be fooled by cloudy days because clouds don’t block the sun’s harmful UV rays, and proper sun precautions should be taken during all seasons of the year.

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