Skin deep

I feel like a bad mommy today. The Munchkin has a sunburn.

It all started off innocently enough. I’ve been pretty good about keeping her either well-coated in sunblock, in the shade, or covered up enough in the sunny weather to keep her from getting a burn. And if you know the Munchkin, or have seen a picture of her, you know that she is extremely fair-skinned. “Porcelain” is the word used most often. The Webmaster, despite his dark hair, is also fair-skinned, which is where she gets part of this. I, on the other hand, am fair, but my skin has very yellow undertones thanks to my Japanese blood. While I can burn, it will take me longer than it will the Webmaster or the Munchkin. Oh, and Baby Boy? He’s darker than I am. It seems that every drop of his Japanese blood has gone into making him as olive-skinned as his uncle, the Captain.

We were at the church picnic yesterday. I made rainbow jello, and it was the first dessert to disappear. I saw kids walking off with a piece of jello in each hand, and telling their friends where to find it on the table. I hastily grabbed a couple pieces for the Munchkin, who would have been horribly upset if she hadn’t gotten any (she saw me making it the night before). The picnic was held in front of our church building, which is this nice, green, open field. Ergo, no shade. We spread out our blanket and chairs and I was trying mightily to keep Baby Boy shaded with my own shadow, but the Munchkin was a lost cause. I can’t make her sit still when all the other kids are running around playing. I really regretted not having enough foresight to bring along any sunscreen. After a while, I noticed that the Munchkin was getting a little pink around the edges, so I packed us all up and moved the whole kit and caboodle and kids under a tree on the very edge of the property – also very far away from the people and food. It was long past Baby Boy’s naptime, and he crashed in my arms. However, I couldn’t keep the Munchkin still. When we left, she looked flushed, but not burnt. We went shopping at Target after leaving the picnic to pick up a few things, and she still didn’t look burnt. She fell asleep on the way home, and we put her in bed for her nap.

When she woke up from her nap, the burn was evident. She had been wearing a sleeveless top, and so her shoulders and upper arms were pink, along with her nose. I Googled “sunburn remedies” and came up with a couple of ideas, but we ended up picking up some aloe vera gel on the way to Friend and Doc’s for dinner, and giving her some children’s ibuprofen as well (to hopefully reduce the swelling). I also used an ice pack for as long as she would sit still for it.

We’ll see how she looks today. In the meantime, I am just kicking myself. The worst part is, while we were shopping at Target after the picnic, I came across what would have been the solution to my initial problem – no sunscreen with me. I bought a Coppertone Water Babies Sunblock Stick to keep in the diaper bag for all future emergency needs. I had no idea that this thing existed. I’ve always been a little leery of keeping a bottle or tube of sunblock in the diaper bag, because if those things leak, they’re all over the place and a total mess. If I had found the Sunblock Stick before the picnic, I know I would have bought it because I would have seen the immediate practical uses of such an item. I like to keep my diaper bag well-stocked to deal with any emergency – I have a travel package of Q-Tips, Band-Aids, extra diaper pins and nylon pants, a travel-sized Vaseline jar, Johnson & Johnson pre-soaped washcloths and a travel-sized bottle of baby shampoo (well sealed). It does make the diaper bag a bit heavy, but I am always prepared. I just had not seen the Sunblock Stick until now – and I had been shopping for new sunblock for the kids recently! Target is the only place I’ve seen this.

Don’t let this happen to you. Learn from my mistake. Be prepared. Your children’s skin will thank you.

In the meantime, I’m sure the Munchkin will be just fine. She did complain a little about her “burn,” but we’ve been slathering on the aloe vera gel and keeping up with some meds. It’s not a terrible burn – I highly doubt that she will even peel. In the meantime, though, I will be keeping an extra-cautious eye on her – and the bottle of sunblock or the Sunblock Stick close at hand.

One Response to “Skin deep”

  1. DozeyMagz
    July 3rd, 2006 05:02

    Try not to feel bad (ha! This coming from Paranoid Mummy herself!) It’s always horrible when something like this happens and we always feel the guilt piling on. No matter how careful and prepared we seem to be – things always seem to sneak up on us! You are probably feeling much worse than Munchkin is!
    Sounds like the picnic was a lot of fun though!