Baby and Toddler Heat Rash: Useful Tips for Prevention and Treatment

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I decided to write this article about baby and toddler heat rash because, unfortunately, this just happened to our little baby girl (who is 1 year old). I can tell you, from my own experience, that it is a very frustrating condition not only  for babies, but also for us, parents. Hopefully, through this article, I will be able to help other parents prevent the appearance of heat rash on their babies’ skin or, at least, treat it knowledgeably.

As I already said, heat rash (also known as Miliaria or prickly heat), is a very disturbing and uncomfortable condition for our little ones. Heat rash can occur at any age, but it usually appears more frequently on the extremely delicate skin of babies and toddlers (young children).

What is heat rash, what causes it and what are its symptoms?

Baby and toddler heat rash is an eruption of tiny bumps surrounded by redness on the skin. It usually shows up when the baby overheats and the excessive sweating obstructs the sweat glands, keeping the perspiration beneath the skin. This has as a result red bumps or blisters. Heat rash is most common during the summer when, not only the weather is hotter, but the humidity is higher, too.

The bumps usually appear on the baby’s chest, stomach, neck, crotch, buttocks and it may spread across his scalp, too. Sunscreen or other type of ointments can also cause the appearance of heat rash, as they clog the pores and the sweat is blocked under the skin.

Baby heat rash symptoms are skin bumpiness or/and redness, itching and tingling, but also restlessness, crankiness and the lack of a peaceful sleep.

What should we do to prevent baby and toddler heat rash?

Here are the most important and easy to-dos to do to avoid baby and toddler heat rash:

  • Try to keep your home ventilated and your baby cool.
  • Use a dehumidifier, especially in your baby’s room (bedroom) if the air is hot and humid. (we used: Vaporizer and Warm Mist Humidifier for Baby and Kids Rooms and it worked great!). Use the warm mist humidifier when the air is dry, in allergy season, when sick or even just to maintain optimal indoor humidity levels. The dehumidifier is a great acquisition, as it also helps eliminate bacteria in the air that can make breathing difficult.
  • Avoid taking your baby outdoors between 10a.m and 18p.m., when the weather is hot.
  • Avoid carrying your baby in a sling, wrap or other type of baby carrier
  • Cool the car before going on a ride with your baby.
  • Dress your baby in light weighted, loose, cotton clothes (ex. Burt’s Bees Baby Girls’ Organic Crochet Bubble and Hat Set for girls, or Under the Nile Short Sleeve Organic Romper for boys) to give it’s skin the possibility to breathe. You can also let him wear only his diaper indoors if it is too hot.
  • Cool your baby’s skin with regular baths (without using shampoo or bubble bath products); just let him have fun in its tub (Summer Infant Newborn to Toddler Bath Center and Shower) with his favorite bath toys (these are our daughter’s favorite: Click N’ Play Assorted Colorful Bath Squirters).
  • Don’t wipe the skin of your baby with the towel after bath. You should gently pat his skin dry with a soft towel, or just leave the water evaporate.

How should we treat heat rash?

In the event that your baby couldn’t avoid heat rash, here are some tips that will help you treat it fast:

  • Keep your baby in cool, dry, shaded spots.
  • Remove your baby’s clothes and let him wear only his diaper whenever possible.
  • Let the skin air-dry (instead of using towels) after bathing.
  • Don’t use lotions or sunscreen on your baby’s irritated skin (it clogs the pores).
  • Use Zinc Oxide products to calm and keep your baby’s skin dry (we used this one: Caldesene Baby Corn Starch Powder with Zinc Oxide).
  • Apply wet, cool washcloths to the areas affected by the rash.
  • Cool your baby with regular lukewarm baths (a bit of baking soda in the bath water can help absorb the sweat).
  • Cut your baby’s fingernails, so he won’t scratch himself when the rash starts itching.
  • If the heat rash comes with increased pain, swelling or fever, take you baby to a pediatrician immediately. This might be a sign of infection and must be treated by a specialized physician.

In conclusion, as a general rule, try to maintain your baby’s skin cool and dry, as much as possible, during the hot season. This is the best prevention method that can help your baby avoid heat rash.

How did you and your baby cope with hot summer weather? Share with us your experiences!

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