For more moderate cases of sunburn the best thing to do is just try to cool off the skin with a cloth soaked into cold water or by taking cool showers. Also, aloe vera gels are quite beneficial, as well as tropical steroids, but the latter ones are not to be used by children without previously consulting a doctor.
Sunburn has some side effects such as headache and mild fever. They might be connected with insufficient amount of fluids in the body. Inserting enough water and relaxing in a cool dark room should help deal with these problems.
Unfortunately, the peeling of the skin cannot be prevented, but the itching can be reduced by applying some moisturizing lotion.
Apart from these, some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or Aspirin, can also be helpful when treating sunburn. However, the important thing to remember is not to get carried away because of the pain or the soreness, but to make sure to follow the instructions on the box concerning the dose.
Another side effect of sunburn, and perhaps the most unpleasant one, is the appearance of small blisters. These blisters are best left untouched as they will surely pass on their own. Avoiding to cover them up with clothes is recommendable, but if it does happen, one should protect them with a bandage while making sure not to put too much pressure on them because that could affect the blood flow and create swelling. Since an infection is likely to arise from blisters, it is important to remember to wash hands before getting in touch with them.
If a blister seems large and ready to burst, it is acceptable to take care of it. All it takes is a sterile needle, some antibiotic cream and some gauze, to pierce the blister and protect the skin after squeezing out the fluids. The gauze should be changed regularly and kept clean for it could also lead to an infection otherwise.
Some symptoms of an infection are pain, swelling, redness or fever.
Signs that the sunburn requires treatment beyond simple home treatment are inability to make up for the lack of fluids due to dehydration, infection from the blisters, allergic reaction, nausea and vomiting, problems with vision, continuing fever or should any of the aforementioned symptoms become more serious.