4 Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Sunburn and Headaches


Warm or sunny days are great opportunities for you to take some nice road trips with the whole family. These excursions can be a chance to get away from it all and make some new memories while you bond. However, a long drive on days like this means that kids could get sunburns or headaches before the ride is over. There are a few things you can do that might keep these things at bay.

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People have used sunscreen for decades as one of the ways to keep the bright rays from causing red burns on the skin. You might think it is only useful outdoors, but it could be just as helpful to you during the journey. Professionals tend to recommend choosing a product that boasts ingredients designed to block ultraviolet rays. It’s a good idea to apply at least one coat of this evenly to your child. The face, neck, and shoulders are particular areas to cover during a journey.

Window Tinting

Many of the standard windows in vehicles let most of the sun’s rays straight through. Thanks to the reflective properties of the glass, the windows can also make the sun seem brighter or harsher than it is. It might be easier for kids to get a sunburn when the rays are magnified through these spaces. You can try to mitigate this issue with the application of window tinting to any of the areas that your kids sit in regularly. A darker tint can mute the harshness of the sun, and it can keep back some of the rays that might otherwise cause a burn during a long commute.


In addition to sunburns, headaches can be a common complaint among kids who are stuck in a car for too long. If you have to drive for several hours to get to your destination, having some fluids with you may help lessen a headache your child might be feeling. Depending on your child’s age, a few sips of caffeine may help constrict the blood vessels that dilate during a headache. However, water or sports drinks can also be of use.


Naps don’t always get rid of headaches in adults, but they might be more effective in children. If possible, apply a cold compress to your child’s head before the nap. It is a good idea to put them in a place with adequate window tinting as well. The relatively cool and dark space can help them fall asleep more readily during a car trip.

Although it’s supposed to be about the journey rather than the destination, a long trip in a hot, bright car isn’t always full of fun times for kids. If they feel unwell or irritable, it may have an impact on your mental health as well. You can combine some of the tips above to help ensure that the ride is more comfortable for everyone.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke @BrookeChaplan

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